Emma Dean | Real Life Computer Game

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Real Life Computer Game

by Emma Dean

It’s like pop music but it’s also music theatre. But it’s elastic; Emma’s songs bend and stretch like elastic - they’re infectious but dip and soar and evolve like a stage musical.
Genre: Pop: Piano
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. waiting room
3:01 album only
2. real life computer game
4:07 album only
3. most of the time
3:32 album only
4. sorry
4:08 album only
5. get what you paid for
4:47 album only
6. orange red
3:18 album only
7. addicted to...
0:40 album only
8. cocaine
2:33 album only
9. henry
4:11 album only
10. end of the table
5:38 album only
11. dry land
5:12 album only
12. could this mean...
4:00 album only
5:28 album only


Album Notes

"Brisbane artist Emma Dean follows up her highly imaginative and quirky Face Painter EP with her first full length album,Real Life Computer Game. Teaming up once again with co producer Ben Stewart, they have given us a masterpiece; no doubt about it."

"Real Life Computer Game flows magnificently, with a torrent of emotions and sounds that will leave you gasping for breath."

"Take for instance the title track, a blistering song about seizing the day, before it’s all too late. Cocaine, a song written after reading a false report that said she was a cocaine addict, is frenetic, jagged and deliriously sexy. Even the gentler songs never quite allow you to settle, and keep dipping and diving into complex themes both musically and lyrically."

"Death and the afterlife are common themes. For instance the final track, the wordy Could this mean if everyone is alone we’re together? / In the way that we’re all together alone?, are the lines His arms are reaching to her but he’s blinded / By skin over eyes and she’s always reminded / That when we die we’re always alone. In Dry Land, a song about the after life (the one after the death of a relationship) Dean sings Now all I need is time just on my own / To get used to this body and its new home."

"There are many elements to this album which will take repeat listens to fully appreciate. Real Life Computer Game is as fresh and inventive as I had hoped it would be, and easily fits into my top 10 albums of the year so far."

Review by Kaz Mitchell, Inpress Magazine (Melbourne Australia) 6 August 2008


Emma - vocals, piano, violin
Tony Dean - drums, percussion
Dane Pollock - guitar
John Turnbull - bass guitar

Backing vocals - Emma, Tony, Ben Stewart, Jacob Diefenbach (tr5), Angie MIles (tr12)
Cello - Helena Redmond (trs 1,5,6,9,10,12), Sohie Adamus (trs 2,3,4,7) Laura Driver (tr8)
Viola - Anthony Licence (trs 4, 9)
String arrangements - Emma except Ben Stewart (trs 2,7,9) and cello parts by Laura Driver (trs 1,3,8)

Produced by Emma and Ben; Recorded and mixed by Ben; Mastered by Matthew Redlich


Music was really the only option for a young Emma Dean who, at the age of three, was told her backside was too big to be a ballerina. Instead she embraced a natural flair for writing songs while studying classical and jazz music in singing, violin and piano. After a three year stint with acclaimed Brisbane duo Bittersuite, Emma decided her own solo path was the only path to take and quickly delivered two solo EPs – Hanging Out The Washing and Face Painter.

On her debut full length album, Real Life Computer Game, the Brisbane-based performer has headed into new sonic territory and created a new genre – ‘Elastic Pop Theatre’. It’s bigger, bolder and more ambitious than anything she’s ever done, showing her growth as a person and evolution as a musician and songwriter, while also staying true to her innovative take on modern music.

One element that remains firmly intact on the album is Emma’s fierce commitment to independence and honesty. Real Life Computer Game is her statement.


Emma Dean writes about the songs on her debut album, Real Life Computer Game.

Waiting Room:
“I sat there on the haunted piano in the haunted room of the haunted house. I’m sick of waiting for it all to happen for me.

As the lights flickered on and off, I realised it was all about to begin.”

Real Life Computer Game:
“As she lay on her death bed and spoke about the important things in her life, she realised that none of these were superficial. The significance of her life revolved around the people she loved – not “things” at all.”

Most Of The Time:
“Finding your worth and keeping it safe is a life long task for many.”

“You waited and waited and waited for me. You thought you’d lost me. Little did I know, I was losing myself...”

Get What You Paid For:
“…and then finding myself again in this record. Sometimes I go too fast even though there are days it feels like no one is listening. So, I began to write for myself – my truth. Even when it feels like I’m all alone, I can see Jacob’s little head popping around the corner, dancing madly or singing at the top of his lungs to my music as he whizzes around in his red bubble-mobile. A tribute to every honest story teller I know.”

Orange Red:
“When you see the flames above someone’s head it’s easy just to run and hide. But it’s so much more rewarding when you try to battle them together.”

"After reading a false internet rumour involving myself as a cocaine addict, I began to ponder the things in my life I have not yet experienced. After this stream of consciousness I gave birth to Cocaine – an upbeat song about a time in my life where I was not on drugs but was desperately longing for some sort of high. Funnily enough, I found this in ‘Cocaine’”

“The eldest child. What do you do when someone loves the person they want to see in you?”

End Of The Table:
“It’s easier to listen than it is to truly hear. I’m screaming on the inside and I think they were listening but they didn’t hear a damn thing.. I feel small tonight but I suspect I let myself feel small a little too often.”

Dry Land:
“Next life.”

Could This Mean If Everyone Is Alone Together We’re Together? In The Way That We’re All Together Alone?:
“For my Angie – if only she’d morph in to me then she could only see just by looking at her makes the dark disappear.”



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