Emily is the daughter of Canadian poet Paul Haines; her sister is Canadian television journalist Avery Haines and her brother is Tim Haines, owner of Bluestreak Records in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. She was born in New Delhi, India, and raised in Canada. After settling in Peterborough at the age of three, she grew up in a house rich with experimental art and musical expression. Paul would often make cassettes of rare and eclectic music for his daughter to listen to and her early influences included Carla Bley, Robert Wyatt, and later PJ Harvey. By her teens she followed her parents' footsteps by attending the Etobicoke School of the Arts to study drama. There she met Amy Millan and Kevin Drew (whom she briefly dated), with whom she would later collaborate in songs for Broken Social Scene and Stars.
Haines and Millan briefly formed their first band around 1990 while at ESA, and with songs later written and recorded while at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 1992–1993, at Toronto in 1995, and at Concordia University in Montreal in 1995–1996. The result was Cut in Half and Also Double distributed in 1996 with a limited number of copies.
Haines met James Shaw in Toronto, and the two of them began dating and making music. Their first collaboration was not called Metric, although it contained all the elements that would mark their later music. The two moved to New York, where they recruited their rhythm section and began recording.
Haines also has a solo career, and has released two albums, Knives Don't Have Your Back, and What Is Free to a Good Home?, under the band name Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton. Her solo work is typically more mellow and piano-based than her work with Metric — in interviews, Haines has stated that "most Metric songs I write would start out sounding the same way that Knives sounds. The only difference is that with Knives, I'm exposing my music in a more vulnerable state."
She occasionally plays a limited number of solo shows, often with Amy Millan as the opener.
Haines also appeared in the 2004 drama film Clean. She and her band, Metric, appearing as themselves, performed their song "Dead Disco" and then went backstage for a small speaking role.
- What Is Free to a Good Home? (2007)
- Grow Up and Blow Away (recorded 2001, released 2007)
- Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003)
- Live It Out (2005)
- Fantasies (April 2009)
- Live from Metropolis (2008)
The following songs are credited with Emily Haines on either lead or backing vocals.
- Broken Social Scene – "Looks Just Like the Sun", "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl", "Backyards", "Her Disappearing Theme", "Swimmers", "Bandwitch", "Superconnected"
- Tiësto - "Knock You Out" from Kaleidoscope
- Delerium – "Stopwatch Hearts"
- Jason Collett – "Fire", "Hangover Days" (Emily is actually in the video edit of the song "fire". The album version credits the female backing vocals to Amy Millan)
- KC Accidental – "Them (Pop Song #3333)"
- MSTRKRFT - "She's Good For Business"
- Stars – "Going, Going, Gone", "On Peak Hill"
- The Stills – "Baby Blues"
- k-os - "Uptown Girl"
- Clean Original Soundtrack – "Dead Disco" (Metric)
- The Crystal Method - "Come Back Clean"
Haines made a cameo appearance on the k-os music video, "Man I Used to Be". She can also be seen on The Stills music video for "Love and Death" playing a secretary. She stars in Julian Plenti's music video for the song "Games For Days".
Metric is also contributing an unreleased track called "Black Sheep" to the soundtrack for the upcoming film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
- Clean (2004, as herself)
Chan, Alvin. “Emily Haines – Pop Princess Sharpens her Knives”. MusicOMH.com. http://www.musicomh.com/interviews/emily-haines_0607.htm. Accessed July 28 2008.
Sweeny, Joey. “Indie Pop Goes Twee”. The Rock History Reader. Ed. Theo Cateforis New York: Routledge, 2007.
Biography from Wikipedia