Emily Haines

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Emily Haines
Haines performing at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2010
Haines performing at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2010
Background information
Birth nameEmily Savitri Haines
Born (1974-01-25) 25 January 1974 (age 49)
New Delhi, India
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • percussion
  • harmonica
Years active1990–present
LabelsLast Gang
Member of

Emily Savitri Haines (born 25 January 1974) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She is the lead singer, keyboardist and songwriter of the rock band Metric and a member of the musical collective Broken Social Scene. As a solo artist, she has performed under her own name and as Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. Haines possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born in New Delhi,[3] and raised in Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Haines is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States (her parents were both born in the US).[4] She is the daughter of Canadian poet Paul Haines; her mother founded a school for under-privileged children in India.[5] Her middle name, Savitri, is from Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol, an epic poem by Sri Aurobindo.[5] Her sister is the Canadian television journalist Avery Haines and her brother is Tim Haines, owner of Bluestreak Records in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Haines grew up in a house rich with experimental art and musical expression and her early influences included Carla Bley, Robert Wyatt, and PJ Harvey. She studied drama at the Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA), where she met Amy Millan and Kevin Drew, with whom she would later collaborate in Broken Social Scene (co-founded by Drew). During their time at ESA, Haines and Millan formed their first band together.[6]

Haines attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver between 1992 and 1993, and Montreal's Concordia University between 1995 and 1996. In 1996, she distributed a limited-edition album entitled Cut in Half and Also Double that included songs written and recorded during her student years.[7]

Professional music[edit]

Haines in 2006

Haines met James Shaw in Toronto in 1997 and began performing as a duo called "Mainstream".[8] After releasing an EP entitled Mainstream EP, they changed the band's name to "Metric", after a sound programmed by Shaw on his keyboard.[8] Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key joined the band in 2001.[9] As of 2023, Metric has released nine studio albums: Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003), Live It Out (2005), Grow Up and Blow Away (2007, but recorded in 2001), Fantasies (2009), Synthetica (2012), Pagans in Vegas (2015), Art of Doubt (2018), Formentera (2022), and Formentera II (2023).

Haines also contributed vocals or backing vocals to songs by Broken Social Scene, Jason Collett, Stars, Delerium, K-Os, KC Accidental, The Stills, Tiësto, The Crystal Method, Rezz, and Todor Kobakov.[10]

In 2004, Metric appeared in the 2004 drama film Clean. The band, appearing as themselves, performed their song "Dead Disco" and had minor speaking roles in a backstage scene. "Dead Disco" also featured on Clean Original Soundtrack. In 2010, she appeared as part of Broken Social Scene, on the soundtrack for the film This Movie is Broken. [11] In 2006, as Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Haines released the studio album Knives Don't Have Your Back. The songs "Our Hell" and "Doctor Blind" were issued as singles and corresponding music videos were produced. Following the release, Haines undertook a tour of North America in January 2007.[12] Knives Don't Have Your Back was followed in 2007 by the EP What Is Free to a Good Home?, which was inspired by the death of her father.[13] Her solo work is typically more subdued and piano-based than her work with Metric.[14] She often appears with Amy Millan as her opening act.[15]

Prior to the fourth Metric album Fantasies, Haines traveled to Argentina to write.[16][17] She became good friends with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson before Reed's death in 2013.[18]

Haines contributed to Broken Social Scene's 2017 album Hug of Thunder[19] and performed with Broken Social Scene on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 30 March 2017.[20][21] In May 2017, Haines was with Broken Social Scene in Manchester, England, the night after the terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert; she attributes her ability to carry on and play after the attack to the support of former The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.[22]

On September 15, 2017, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton released the album Choir of the Mind; it was recorded a year earlier in Toronto and released by Last Gang Records and eOne (Entertainment One).[5][23][24] The album's lead single, "Fatal Gift", was released on 9 June 2017.[25] In support of the album, Haines toured North America in late 2017.[26]


When performing with Metric, Haines plays two synthesizers. Her primary synthesizer is a Sequential Circuits Pro-One, which she has played since the band's early years.[27] As secondary synthesizer, she played a Kawai MP9000,[28] which was replaced by E-mu's PK-6 Proteus Keys in 2003, and was followed by the Clavia Nord Wave in 2012. She also plays the tambourine, electric guitar, piano and harmonica.[29][30]

Other projects[edit]

In August 2013, Haines became involved with FLEET4HEARme, a collaboration with Fleet Jewelry and HearMe, an organization that aims to increase children's access to music programs in public schools.[31] In September 2015, the Canadian outerwear brand Rudsak unveiled a leather jacket customized by Haines.[32] The jacket is a classic black motor-cycle style with lyrics from Metric song "The Governess" on the back.

Metric is active in the international advocacy organization Global Citizen, and Haines is involved with its girls and women issues campaign #SheDecides.[33] In 2017, Haines partnered with House of Matriarch High Perfumery to create her own fragrance, "Siren".[34]


Haines at Coachella 2008

Emily Haines[edit]


Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton[edit]




  • "Doctor Blind"
  • "Our Hell"
  • "Fatal Gift"
  • "Statuette"

Music videos

  • "Doctor Blind"
  • "Our Hell"
  • "Fatal Gift"
  • "Planets"
  • "Statuette"
  • "Legend of the Wild Horse"




The following songs are credited with Emily Haines on either lead or backing vocals:

Artist Song Album and Year
Broken Social Scene "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" You Forgot It in People (2002)
"Looks Just Like the Sun"
"Backyards" Bee Hives (2004)
"Windsurfing Nation" Broken Social Scene (2005)
"Her Disappearing Theme" To Be You and Me EP (2005)
"Sentimental X's" Forgiveness Rock Record (2010)
"Protest Song" Hug of Thunder (2017)
"Vanity Pail Kids"
Delerium "Stopwatch Hearts" Rarities & B-Sides (2015)
"Glimmer" Rarities & B-Sides (2015)
Jason Collett "Hangover Days" Idols of Exile (2005)
k-os "Uptown Girl" Yes! (2009)
KC Accidental "Them (Pop Song No. 3333)" Anthems for the Could've Bin Pills (2000)
Stars "Going, Going, Gone" Nightsongs (2001)
"On Peak Hill"
The Stills "Baby Blues" Without Feathers (2006)
Tiësto "Knock You Out" Kaleidoscope (2009)
The Crystal Method "Come Back Clean" Divided by Night (2009)
Todor Kobakov "Carpe Diem" Pop Music (2009)
Young Artists for Haiti "Wavin' Flag"
GoldieBlox "Lightning Strikes"
Rezz "Paper Walls" Spiral (2021)


Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Emily Haines". therangeplanet.proboards.com. The Range Planet. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  2. ^ Arnold, Ryan (2 November 2009). "Metric's latest acoustic EP 'Plug In, Plug Out' softens its usually energetic sound". Collegiate Times. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  3. ^ Singh, Sonya and Puneet (25 February 2016). "Metric's Emily Haines Thinks...Feb 2016". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Taking Measurements: An Interview with Metric – PopMatters".
  5. ^ a b c "Home". Emily Haines. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  6. ^ Berman, Stuart. This Book Is Broken. 2009
  7. ^ Mullin, Kyle (7 November 2012), "Sisters of music: Metric's Emily Haines' lifelong friendship with Stars' Amy Millan", Monday Magazine, archived from the original on 18 January 2019, retrieved 18 January 2019
  8. ^ a b Marchese, David (27 July 2010). "Why They're Called... Metric – SPIN – Profiles – Spotlight". Spin. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Metric – Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Credits: Emily Haines". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Emily Haines 2007 Tour Dates". Brooklyn Vegan. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Emily Haines 2007 Tour Dates". Brooklyn Vegan. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  13. ^ Amorosi, A.D. (29 November 2017). "Emily Haines dedicates second solo album to late father , Nov 2017". phillyvoice.com. Philly Voice. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  14. ^ Schlanger, Talia. "Emily Haines On World Cafe, Dec 2017". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  15. ^ Mullin, Kyle (7 November 2012). "Sisters of Music". mondaymag.com. Monday Magazine. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  16. ^ Fortune, Drew (15 September 2009). "Happiness Is a Warm Band". popmatters.com. Pop Matters. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines Makes Style Poetic". refinery29. August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines on Lou Reed's Integrity and Humor". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Broken Social Scene share first album in seven years, Hug of Thunder: Stream". Consequence of Sound. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Broken Social Scene - Halfway Home (Stephen Colbert)". youtube.com. YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Broken Social Scene Return With "Halfway Home," First New Song in 7 Years: Listen". Pitchfork. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Emily Haines Explains How Johnny Marr Helped Her Through Broken Social Scene's Post-Attack Manchester Gig". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines Details New Solo Album 'Choir of the Mind'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  24. ^ Thompson, Stephen (7 September 2017). "Review: Emily Haines, 'Choir Of The Mind', Sept 2017". npr.org. NPR. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Emily Haines (Metric, Broken Social Scene) Announces First New Album in 11 Years". Pitchfork. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  26. ^ "Home". Emily Haines. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Sequential Circuits Pro-One Is Always Onstage With Emily Haines of Metric – YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Metric – Interview in an east village bar (NY) 2001 – YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  29. ^ "Review: Canadian indie band Metric rocks the Fillmore Miami Beach". miami.com.
  30. ^ "Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – Live Review on The Red Alert".
  31. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines Makes Style Poetic". refinery29. August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  32. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines teams with Montreal brand Rudsak on design collaboration". Toronto Sun. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  33. ^ Bliss, Karen (16 August 2017). "Metric's Emily Haines on Why...Aug 2017". billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  34. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines Unveils New Fragrance, Nov 2017". billboard.com. Billboard. 21 November 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  35. ^ Fay Watson (17 November 2023). "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off cameos: All of the Netflix anime guest appearances explained". gamesradar. Retrieved 18 November 2023.

Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]