Emma Hill and longtime band mate Bryan Daste are at it again. The Alaskan duo, who have been compared to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, have released their fifth full length album this fall. Entitled “Denali”, the album was co-produced with Evan Phillips (Whipsaws, Easton Stagger Phillips) of Alaska and features many of the state’s finest players. August through December the duo toured extensively in Alaska followed by a 52 date nationwide tour in support of the new album.
Emma Hill grew up in Alaska, coming from the small village of Sleetmute and later moving into Palmer for high school. In 2006 Hill decided to move to Portland, a thriving music scene, to continue her education and pursue her musical aspirations. In 2007 Hill met Daste and they began their collaboration. Seven busy years, four widely well-reviewed albums, and thousands of tour miles later, the duo are going strong, bringing remarkably intimate lyrics to life with their poignant harmonies, lonesome pedal steel, and Hill’s honeyed voice and confident delivery. Critics have described their sound as ranging from folksy Americana to catchy alt-country.
Hill moved back to Alaska in the fall of 2011, combining performing for her fan base in the state with travel south for regional and national tours. She stays busy year round performing solo as well as with Daste both in Alaska and the states. The pair plays various venues but their signature performance experience is the house concert. The intimate setting of a house show lends itself perfectly to their style and has continued to be a staple of their tours this year as they’ve promoted “Denali”, the newest addition to an impressive body of work.
*photo courtesy Lauren Parker