Emm Gryner (born 8 June 1975 in Sarnia, Ontario)[1][2][3] is a Canadian singer-songwriter best known for her 1998 indie hits "Summerlong" and "Acid".

Emm Gryner
Emm Gryner belts out a tune.jpg
Emm Gryner in Waterloo, Ontario, 2005
Background information
Born (1975-06-08) 8 June 1975 (age 44)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresPop music, alternative rock
InstrumentsVocals, keyboard instruments
LabelsDead Daisy, Mercury
Associated actsTrent Severn, David Bowie, Hot One, The Cake Sale, Lawrence Gowan

Early lifeEdit

Gryner's childhood was spent in Forest, Lambton County, Ontario. Her father was of half Irish heritage[4] and her mother was Filipina.[5] Gryner's brother is record producer and musician Frank Gryner.


Gryner graduated from Fanshawe College's Music Industry Arts program in 1995.[6]


Gryner 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.[7] 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 Paltz, NY and Los Angeles to write and tour. She also took a job singing and playing keyboards in David Bowie’s band.[8] 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.

In 2006, Gryner released The Summer of High Hopes produced by Nathan Larson. The album was released in Canada and later in Ireland on the heels of a performance at Oxegen Festival.


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 May 2013, she collaborated with astronaut Chris Hadfield on a cover version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity", which was recorded partly onboard The International Space Station.[9]

Other workEdit

Gryner played the angel in the music videos of "The Grace" and "Age of Consent" by Neverending White Lights, and had a small but important role in One Week, a film by director Michael McGowan.

In the summers of 2007 and 2008, Gryner and Danny Michel co-hosted the radio show Under the Covers, a show about cover songs, on CBC Radio One.

Recognition by other musiciansEdit

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.[10] 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.

Personal lifeEdit

Gryner was married to visual artist Sean Odell from 2004-2016. They have two children together.[11]



  1. ^ "Emm Gryner / The Queen of Toronto". TheGATE.ca. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Mayor's Honour List 2004" (PDF). City of Sarnia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  3. ^ "Gryner, Emm". Jam!/Canoe. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  4. ^ Tandem - Online magazine Archived 4 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Griwkowsky, Fish (25 October 2002). "Life couldn't be finer for Emm Gryner". Jam!/Canoe. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  6. ^ "Emmbassy". Emmgryner.com. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  7. ^ "HOW STRANGE THE CHANGE FROM MAJOR TO MINOR". Chart Attack, Interview By John Teshima
  8. ^ "Live Reviews: Ron Sexsmith with Emm Gryner November 17, 1999 Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, Toronto, ON". Chart Attack, review by Chris Burland
  9. ^ "Gryner, Hadfield really make the grade | The London Free Press". Lfpress.com. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  10. ^ The GATE - Emm Gryner gets a little love from U2's Bono Archived 4 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Plummer, Sean (6 September 2011). "Emm Gryner gets confessional on Northern Gospel", Canada MSN Entertainment. Retrieved 3 October 2011.

External linksEdit