Emm Gryner in Waterloo, Ontario, 2005
|Born||Sarnia, Ontario, Canada|
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Pop music, alternative rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboard instruments|
|Labels||Dead Daisy, Mercury|
|Associated acts||David Bowie, Hot One, The Cake Sale|
After graduating from Fanshawe College's Music Industry Arts program in 1995, Emm started her music career in Toronto, working office jobs during the day while honing her live show in small, local clubs by night. Gryner entered her original song "Wisdom Bus" in a nationwide songwriting contest sponsored by Standard Broadcasting, and won. With the money from this prize, she recorded an album called The Original Leap Year and released it on her own Dead Daisy Records. The album attracted the attention of Violent Femmes producer, Warren Bruleigh.
Bruleigh passed the album onto an exec at Mercury Records who signed Gryner. The result was Public, a Britpop-inspired album that yielded a hit in Canada called "Summerlong." Several tours followed, with Ron Sexsmith, Bernard Butler, Rufus Wainwright and others.
After Universal Music took over Mercury Records, Gryner was dropped from the label and returned to her own Dead Daisy Records. She released several albums, two of which went on to be nominated for Best Pop Album of the Year at the Juno Awards. During this time, Gryner moved to New York and Los Angeles to write and tour. She also took a job singing and playing keyboards in David Bowie’s band. The gig saw Gryner performing with Bowie at Glastonbury Festival, on Later with Jools Holland and other venues around America and Europe. She appears on Bowie at the Beeb, a live album.
After leaving Bowie’s band, Gryner moved to Montreal and released an album called Songs of Love and Death which was made up of cover versions of Irish songs by The Undertones, The Virgin Prunes, Horslips, Thin Lizzy, The Thrills and others. Recorded in a house she shared with Kate McGarrigle, the album attracted the attention of Irish media. Gryner found a champion in Pat Egan, a legendary promoter and manager based in Dublin, and he set up her first shows.
In 2005, Gryner signed Atlantic Canadian indie band In-Flight Safety. The band went on to receive national acclaim, capture several awards and receive a Juno nomination for Best Video of the Year in 2007. Gryner subsequently signed Toronto songwriter Royal Wood and released his album, A Good Enough Day through Dead Daisy.
Gryner also collaborated with Larson in the band Hot One, which released an album that year. She is also a member of the collective The Cake Sale, along with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Bell X1, Josh Ritter and Glen Hansard. The collective is featured on The Cake Sale, a multi-platinum-selling Irish album with proceeds to Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair.
In June 2007, she collaborated with jazz pianist D.D. Jackson for an episode of the CBC Radio concert series Fuse. She also appeared as a guest musician on vitaminsforyou's album The Legend of Bird's Hill.
Recognition by other musicians
Nelly Furtado named Gryner's album Science Fair one of her desert island discs in a VH1 interview, and David Bowie named Gryner and Godspeed You! Black Emperor his two favourite Canadian acts during a promotional interview for his Reality album. In the November 2006 issue of Q, celebrating the magazine's 20th anniversary, U2 frontman Bono recognized the track "Almighty Love" from Gryner's album The Summer of High Hopes as one of six songs that he wished he had written from the last twenty years of music. The American indie band +/- covered the song "Summerlong" on the Japanese edition of their EP, Holding Patterns. The song "Angel" by Matt Nathanson is written about her.
Gryner married visual artist Sean Odell in 2004. They have two children together.
- And Distrust It (1995)
- The Original Leap Year (1997)
- Public (1998)
- Science Fair (1999)
- Dead Relatives (2000)
- Girl Versions (2001)
- Asianblue (2002)
- Songs of Love and Death (2005)
- The Great Lakes (2005)
- The Summer of High Hopes (2006)
- PVT (2006) (originally issued as a bonus disc with The Summer of High Hopes, later sold separately)
- Goddess (2009)
- Stray Bullets EP (2010)
- Gem and I (2010)
- Northern Gospel (2011)
- She's Gone: A Hall & Oates Tribute EP (2012)
- The Best of Emm Gryner (2012)
- Torrential (2014)
- "Emm Gryner / The Queen of Toronto". TheGATE.ca. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "Mayor's Honour List 2004" (PDF). City of Sarnia. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "Gryner, Emm". Jam!/Canoe. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Tandem - Online magazine
- Griwkowsky, Fish (25 October 2002). "Life couldn't be finer for Emm Gryner". Jam!/Canoe. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- The GATE - Emm Gryner gets a little love from U2's Bono
- Plummer, Sean (6 September 2011). "Emm Gryner gets confessional on Northern Gospel", Canada MSN Entertainment. Retrieved 3 October 2011.