Emma Daman Thomas: camp, synthy house arrest, with babies

Emma Daman Thomas is a songwriter, musician & the lead singer of Islet. She lives in Wales and is currently in lockdown with her kids and lover. We asked her what was providing comfort and keeping her creativity alive.

Living in the countryside, with no shortage of skipping lambs, I have it luckier than most in these cooped-up times. Having two small children in rural Powys is pretty much like house arrest anyway.

But here are some things I’ve been doing that you could do anywhere:

Beverley Glenn Copeland’s 1986 Keyboard Fantasies.

Glorious synthy electronic album that has his wise contralto running through it like a precious metal. Ideal for blissing out, imagining better futures, entrancing small children into all-important silent reveries.

Entrance your babies into “all-important silent reveries.”

Charlotte Adigéry’s ‘Yin Yang Self-Meditation’

Not particularly useful for actual meditation but I love her retro look, musings and meandering spoken word on vulnerability, race, relationships…

Her super camp tune about wigs ‘High Lights’ is perfect for a living room junior disco.

TV: Feel Good & Trigonometry

Some of the music for Feel Good was written for the show by Charles Watson and Rob Jones, the latter of whom produced our latest album in our house. But Mae Martin, who writes and stars in it, is so sharp and funny.

Polyamorous drama Trigonometry is pretty far from my basic rural, nuclear setup.

But what could be a better time to be distracted by the lives of impossibly hot Londoners with complicated sex lives?

Leafing through Food For Free by Richard Mabey

I picked this up in a charity shop for 20p before this all kicked off. It’s a foraging handbook written in the 70s, full of fascinating and unappetising anecdotes about feeding babies nettle mush during the war.

Foraging appeals to my frugal nature. I also know sod all about it and my interest is mainly confined to leisurely reading, not actually doing it. But I think we all need to see those green shoots bursting forth right now.


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