LA Indie-Pop Artist EMILY JAMES Unveils New EP ‘Illuminate’ Out Now!
July 15, 2022 BY Jason Currell
Today, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Emily James is proud to unveil her sparkling new EP, Illuminate, out now via Nettwerk. The six-song effort sees Emily taking expansive new strides as songwriter as she incorporates a subtle sonic palette of lush synths and layered acoustics with moody drum machines and backbeats. Listen to Illuminate on all digital retailers (here).
Revealing her inspiration for the EP, Emily says “I wrote most of these songs during my last year as a college student. Those four years hold so many amazing memories for me, and I wanted to capture and shine a light on some of the special moments. This EP is a way of reflecting and celebrating those years, while also coming to terms with the fact that this chapter of my life is ending. It’s very bittersweet, but I am looking forward to new beginnings and all that’s to come in the future.”
If Emily can relay one resounding message through Illuminate, it’s to embrace change. “Change can be hard to grapple with, but ultimately it’s a good thing,” she states. “Be grateful for what you’ve gotten to experience. Even if it’s not forever, that can be a good thing, too. Hold on to what you love, but don’t let it hold you back.”
Accompanying the EP release is a new self-produced music video for “Hung Up” where we see Emily sporting a multi-colored wardrobe palette in four unique locations. What ties them together is the fun and flirty energy felt throughout the song.
“Hung Up” is an anthem for anyone who is tired of holding back their feelings for someone,” explains Emily. “It’s about being bold and picking up the phone and just being like, ‘Hey, are you into me? Cuz I’m into you.’ I hope it empowers people and gives them an extra boost of confidence to say what’s on their heart.”
WATCH & SHARE “HUNG UP” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO HERE:
ABOUT EMILY JAMES:
Emily James has been surrounded by music for as long as she can remember. Among the 23-year-old’s first memories are of her New York upbringing with her parents’ eclectic music collection. Spanning from Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder to musicals and folk music, all these early influences were quintessential to her story; nuanced and ever-evolving as the music the L.A.-based artist creates. Raised in a small town just north of New York City, Emily began her musical journey singing and taking piano lessons and, by the time she was ten, writing her own songs. In her early teens, Emily started performing around New York City and, soon after, began driving down to Nashville and gigging at venues throughout the Music City.
Emily has come a long way both musically and geographically, having started her career in Nashville alongside powerhouse producers Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves) and Jacquire King (Kings of Leon). She established herself as a true songwriter whose music has continued to expand into many genres. As she’s matured, Emily’s soulful essence has taken center stage, capable of powerful, standout choruses that give way to tender inflections.
After Nashville, Emily felt the west coast calling and decided to expand her horizons by relocating to Los Angeles. Once in L.A., she gained the confidence to venture into self-producing. “I definitely attribute a lot of what I know about production from what I’ve picked up from the producers and engineers I’ve been fortunate enough to work with,” she says. Creating songs in her own bedroom instead of in a studio adds a level of introspection to her songs. “Being able to create in such a private, intimate space, and yet have limitless possibilities staring you straight in the face is, for me, a beautiful way to create. You get to eliminate any elements of self-consciousness and be totally free with your thoughts and ideas.”
Over the course of five EP releases, Emily has amassed 40M+ streams worldwide across streaming platforms. She’s developed her own sound and songwriting style that features nuanced production and an emotional vulnerability that complements her dynamic vocal range. Regarding her process, Emily states, “At the start, I write for myself. Once the song is done, it doesn’t even feel like I wrote it. It’s not mine anymore. It belongs to whoever is listening because they’re going to attach their own experiences to it. I like when people interpret my songs their own way. Even though I wrote the words about my own experience, however someone connects to it and relates it to their own life is completely valid. To me, that’s the beauty of music.”
Emily James truly steps into her own on her forthcoming EP, Illuminate. Driven by textured, ethereal pop melodies and her enchanting vocals, the EP sees Emily branching out musically and diving into an entirely new realm of narrative depth. She’s compiled this next iteration over the past year, blending the intimate with the grandiose as she opens up about new relationships and tackles the uncertainties of life’s changes. Illuminate also features Emily’s production credits, with half of the songs written and produced solely by her.