Where introspective garage punk meets poetic lyricism is where you'll find the Alternative artist and singer-songwriter (EM), especially with help from his latest thought-provoking single, "Opening Night: Short Story." From the cold woods of Wisconsin, (EM) has been honing his craft for two decades, writing music and learning his way around the past and present production techniques. Using his lyricism as an emotional outlet, (EM) is eager to pull in fans through his conceptual storylines and a sonic hybrid sounds of lo-fi garage rock, shoegaze-sludge pop, and hints of folk and psychedelia.
Recently releasing his intro track "Opening Night: Short Story" off of his album 'Dumbo,' (EM) brings us into a conceptual, emotional, and compelling storyline through his dreamy and poetic lyricism. Not to mention the hard-hitting and textured instrumentation, we love the song's organic and natural feel as (EM) blasts through with a message that lingers our minds for hours on end.
"Opening Night: Short Story" begins with crisp drum breaks, distorted and layered electric guitars, and a warm acoustic guitar to brighten the song's atmosphere. As (EM) starts singing in a low, reflective, and dreamy voice, he captures us into the heavy scenery he's depicting with each in-depth lyric.
We love the grunge, and mellow-punk feel that (EM) has delivered with this piece, which is perfectly complemented by lyrics like "I worked so long to lose it all, I tried too hard, forgot to love myself." Reaching the end of this exhilarating track, we adore each heavy sonic element accompanied by (EM)'s vulnerable and relatable lyricism.
Catch (EM)'s heated release "Opening Night: Short Story" on all streaming platforms, and check out the entire album 'Dumbo,' as (EM) serenades us with each introspective lyric and ground-breaking melody.
Listen to "Opening Night: Short Story" here.
Hello (EM) and welcome to BuzzMusic. Seeing as your single "Opening Night: Short Story" is the intro track to your album 'Dumbo,' how does the song prepare us for the rest of the project?
I think the song does a good job previewing the sounds and lyrical themes that are visited throughout the album. I knew the moment I finished mixing it that it would be a perfect album opener. It's a good mixture of everything that comes after it. It's definitely one of the songs I'm the proudest of writing.
Could you bring us into the moment you began creating "Opening Night: Short Story?" What inspired this piece in particular?
I began writing/recording this album immediately after releasing 'thrEE', the one before it. I was on a roll creatively and didn't want to waste a minute of it. My first three albums of 2020 were very electric guitar-based, so I wanted to expand the variety of sounds heard on this album. This led to the inclusion of acoustic guitar on 'opening night: short story" (among other tracks), keyboards, and odd psychedelic noise such as reversed guitar tracks. My next release will feature even more of these things. The lyrics to 'opening night: short story" were inspired by turning 25 and feeling as if the greatest moments of my life had already passed me by. The first lines are: "I ready my closing remarks/after twenty-four years of dark". I've spent a lot of time in the past year working on improving my self-esteem, something I've always struggled with. This is mentioned in the last lines of the chorus: "I worked so long to lose it all/I tried too hard, forgot to love myself".
Did you record and create all the instrumentals yourself within "Opening Night: Short Story?" What did your creative process look like when forming the sonic atmosphere?
Yes, everything was recorded by myself. I like having creative control and translating what I hear in my head into reality to the best of my ability. The way I record is often different than what is normally done. The recording process becomes the songwriting itself. I may begin with a melody or chord progression in mind, and record drums first to match the imagined rhythm. Once I have a song's worth of drum tracks, I record guitar or bass over them, often writing the parts on the spot as I go. The mixing process is when I splice parts and progressions together, forming the final layout of the song. Last, I write or add lyrics already written that I think fit the song well.
Was it challenging to write such intimate and vulnerable lyricism for "Opening Night: Short Story?" What themes did you want to get across to listeners?
Releasing music with honest, straight-forward emotional lyrics can be difficult, but the process of writing them is very therapeutic. So is hearing positive things about them after releasing it to the world. I've been a prolific journaler for many years, and for me writing lyrics is an extension of that. Music is my main emotional outlet. For this reason, I don't really have many "happy" songs. Most cover dark, depressing topics, at least lyrically. I write a lot about mental illness and addiction because they're things that are a part of my life. I want listeners to be able to relate to the struggles I discuss and feel less alone by knowing someone else is dealing with those issues as well.
What can we expect to see from you in 2021?
I'm hoping 2021 will be another year filled with new music. I'm already close to finishing my next album, so look out for that being released within the next month or two. I'm looking for a small label to help with distribution, promotion, and so on. I'd love to work with like-minded individuals to spread my music to a wider audience. On that note, I hope to be able to put a band together to learn and perform my tunes live, once the pandemic is under control. This year should be a good one and I'm excited to see what happens!