Emile Haynie is getting by with a little help from his friends. The songwriter and producer responsible for monumental hits such as Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” and Kanye West’s “Runaway” fantasy has called upon his all-star Rolodex to shape his own heart-wrenching confessional. Written over a span of six months while holed up in the infamous Chateau Marmont, Haynie’s debut We Fall is an embittered journey of the collapse of his long-term relationship – a jarring experience that inspired the New Yorker to put pen to paper. Reflecting on impossible romance, Lana’s voice coos of desperation, echoing the words “I’m lonely” (“Wait For Life”) while Brian Wilson and Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt aid Haynie in putting the pieces of a remorseful soul back together with vibrant string work (“Falling Apart”).
Among the other illustrious guest spots, which include Lykke Li, Rufus Wainwright, and Father John Misty’s J. Tillman, some of the most stabbing tracks are those that feature Haynie’s own wiry vocals – including the disillusioned number “Dirty World”, a wallowing examination of attractive flaws and the excuses we make for those we love. His inner anguish may look brooding on paper, but the cathartic orchestration of the album acts as a vehicle for closure and allows the prolific songwriter to come out clean on the other side of heartbreak, all with a little help from his friends. — [Rebecca Milner]
Listen: “Dirty World”, “A Kiss Goodbye”, “The Other Side” || Watch: “Come Find Me (ft. Lykke Li)”