Video of the moment
Every week we select a music video by a Canadian group or artist who have recently been reviewed by our editorial team. If you'd like to suggest a video for consideration, you can send us a message using this form.
Toronto singer/songwriter Emma-Lee has long been held in high regard by her peers and insiders on the T.O. scene. Her eclectic second album, 2012's Backseat Heroine, helped spread the word wider, with songs and clips from it grabbing airplay on CBC, CMT and MuchMoreMusic, and the record winning as Best Adult Contemporary Album at the Independent Music Awards. A buzz is now being generated via her recently-released single and video "What Would Tom Petty Do?"
Yes, it is something of a novelty song, but it is a very well-constructed and highly entertaining one. The inspiration for the song, according to her camp, dates back to a group writing session in Los Angeles. "As Emma-Lee and her Canadian collaborators Karen Kosowski and Justin Gray searched for a spark to get their creative juices flowing, somebody asked 'what would Tom Petty do?' The song came together almost immediately as a charming and clever tribute to the man and his music."
With the aid of a Kapipal crowd-funding campaign, Emma-Lee recorded the track in Toronto with ace producer Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent), then flew back to L.A. to shoot the eye-catching video. In a neat twist, she reprises some scenes from earlier Petty videos and gets to lie down on his Walk of Fame plaque. Shots of the blonde singer cruising L.A. in a red convertible certainly fit the archetypal City of Angels vibe too. The song itself has the feel of a TP tune and it weaves titles of Petty classics into the lyrics (sample: "I've been learning to fly into the great wide open").
Emma-Lee's affection for Petty and his work runs deep. "When it comes to my musical heroes it's hard to choose just one who kinda sums it all up for me," Emma-Lee says. "But when I think of songwriters, there is one person in particular who tops the list. That person is Tom Petty." If you want to hear Emma-Lee do a legit cover of a Petty classic, check out her fine version of "I Won't Back Down".
She's thrilled that news of the song has reached Petty. He recently told Rolling Stone just that, saying "I don't know what Tom Petty would do. But thanks for asking." We wish Emma-Lee luck in Runnin' Down A Dream she has - getting to write a song with the man himself!