TRACK: Emmy the Great’s ‘Dandelions/Liminal’ is intelligent and breezy

Emmy the Great, photographed by Nononino

BELLA UNION’S Emmy the Great has had a major shift in consciousness and the place she calls home since her last album, Second Love, back in 2016. 

Born in Hong Kong, Emma Lee-Moss (for it is she) moved to London with her parents at the end of the city’s loaned colonial status; more recently she has been a New York resident. But now the wheel has come full circle and she is resident in the now-Chinese city of her birth. 

Her shift began in 2017, with an early autumn visit to the city. “I was planning to visit my parents and take some time off to write my fourth album. I arrived in time for the full moon at a time of year when the heat breaks and the city seems alive with possibility,” she says.

“ … that Mid-Autumn, everything felt simple. Under the guidance of the moon, I walked the city. For a brief, precious moment, I fell into synch with Hong Kong. I felt its complex legacy and its tangled future. 

“Everywhere I went, I saw people seeking to define their shared identity before it was too late. I hope some of that spirit has found its way into the songs, which were mostly written during that time,” she says of a new set of songs and a new perspective, which have been documented on her new album, April / 月音, which is due for an October 9th release. 

And ahead of her second set for Simon Raymonde’s fine imprint comes a single, “Dandelions/Liminal”, the video for which you can watch below.

It bounces forward on electric piano and a real early 70s’ singer-songwriter sensibility; crafted and intelligent, swinging, with knowing brass stabs and string sweeps. “Come on let’s be dandelions, scatter all over the place” is her honeyed refrain. These are good things. 

Emma continues: “I’ll never know why the city called me back, but I know what it gave me. In return, I want to give it this album. 

“To witness your birth city in its greatest moment of need is a powerful, humbling event, and I know I watched Hong Kong’s destiny shift into something turbulent and uncertain. 

“I’m glad I recorded what I felt there, during a precious, peaceful time, when life was so good that all I had to do was trust the moon. May it be just one small piece of witness among many, and may the voices of Hong Kong never stop speaking, and asking to be heard.”

Watch for more news of Emma’s forthcoming LP, April / 月音, at herBella Union page.

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