Nora Guthrie Emily's Illness b/w Home Before Dark

Em Records
30th November 2023

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Format Info

7" in 6-page fold out sleeve BioVinyl pressing

Another lost gem uncovered by arch archaeologist EM Records
and reissued way back in 2009. The small run sold out to the lucky few. Now revisited with further artwork, in a 6-page fold out sleeve with new rare photos, and lyrics.

Nora, being the daughter of the giant of American folk Woody Guthrie – he whose guitar was once emblazoned with “this machine kills fascists” (boy do we need him now). This is her only venture into recording, having later pursued a career in modern dance, and preserving the legacy of her father’s work.

Originally released in 1967 “Emily’s Illness” is a magical song, reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds”, the ‘pastoral’ moves of Nick Drake and the ‘baroque pop’ Lee Hazlewood, with a psychedelic / ‘acid folk’ aesthetic. The title and lyrics are said to be a tribute to the 19th century poet Emily Dickinson, the photographs of Nora used in this package hint of the world of Dickinson’s time. Written by songwriter Eric Eisner, Nora’s 18 year old boyfriend, for Nora, an amateur singer. “Home Before Dark” rocks to a saudade style groove and is the house favourite round these parts.

Arranger Artie Schroeck added impressive harpsichord, wind and strings to create this melancholic world. (Incidentally, Eric Eisner’s “Nora Lee” by Howdy Moon later refers to Nora Guthrie.)

This work uses an epoch-making new material, a bio-based PVC in the production process rather than petro-chemicals,
and is 100% recyclable.