Dear Willow is the creative voice of Sunshine Coast artist Em-J Dau. Through this voice, Em-J has been able to express herself with an impressive versatility; since 2012 Dear Willow has at times been a poet, a solo acoustic act, and a full band. Testament to its creator’s talent, Dear Willow is both Em-J’s nom de plume and her persona artistica: a vessel that can change shape and direction, allowing her to truly explore her creativity.
Dear Willow’s first single, Father’s House (2015) introduced Em-J’s wonderfully smoky voice to the big wide world, capturing a beautiful sense of yearning that is often present in her lyrics. As her songwriting developed, flourishes of indie-rock and post-grunge began to infiltrate her earthy tones. Upbeat and optimistic, yet delicate and vulnerable, Dear Willow’s 2016 single When It Burns proved that Em-J’s songs had translated perfectly to a full-band lineup. It was time to hit the studio…
On Dear Willow’s forthcoming debut EP, there is a wonderfully refreshing absence of digital augmentation: Em-J’s voice is untouched by auto-tune and her songs move through time and tempo naturally, untethered to a metronome. The result is soulful, organic and beautifully real. Sounding in the studio as she would on a stage, the honesty in Em-J’s music is captured perfectly on Dear Willow’s debut.
As a solo artist, Dear Willow has been a fearless traveller, touring Australia and earning her stripes as a live musician. Within a few years she had advanced from a timid songstress to a seasoned performer; clocking up thousands of miles and hundreds of gigs… and the horizon always beckons.
With the release of Dear Willow’s EP will come more touring and road-tripping, as the talented young songwriter sets out to make her mark on the world. As enchanting a festival performer as she is a troubadour, Em-J’s musical journey looks set to bear exciting times, and with a full band at her command, it seems there are no limitations on how far this journey could take her.
“One of those voices that is soft and slightly melancholic, yet has a ferocity to it”