Los Angeles-based Singer-songwriter Emily James Returns With Chill-pop Track “Past Tense”

May 12, 2023 BY Jason Currell

Today, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Emily James returns with “Past Tense,” the latest single from her forthcoming EP, Greyout 6/23. Along with the new music, Emily has announced upcoming tour dates with indie duo The Ballroom Thieves and an LA show with “Life We’ve Built” collaborator Portair at Hotel Café. A full list of dates can be found below.

“Past Tense” is a sensitive chill pop track that intimately explores the push and pull of trying to leave a relationship that no longer serves you. Over a gentle, mid-tempo electric guitar line and hypnotic percussion that emulates the inner turmoil; going back and forth on a decision like a cassette tape being rewound and fast-forwarded repeatedly, Emily’s vocals captivate as she grapples with her doubts and fears of leaving what’s familiar.

Listen to “Past Tense” on all digital retailers (here).

“‘Past Tense’ is about being on the verge of a breakup, in that in-between place where deep down, your heart knows that it’s over, but your head isn’t ready to accept it just yet,” Emily explains. “It’s as if your mind keeps rewinding back to all the good parts of the relationship and wants to hold on to them, but then it will fast forward to where it envisions a future without that person. It’s the struggle of knowing what you need to do, but not feeling ready to do it.”


Following lead singles “Lovely Enough,” “Happy for Me,” and “For an Evening”, “Past Tense” is the latest offering from Emily James’ forthcoming EP, Grey, out June 23 via Nettwerk. In 2022, Emily released her acclaimed Nettwerk debut, Illuminate. After being named an Artist to Watch in 2023 by Atwood Magazine, Emily is primed to have a big year with new music on the horizon.

Tour Dates

June 8           Los Angeles, CA – Hotel Café, Second Stage*

June 16         Dallas, TX – Club Dada+

June 17         Austin, TX – The Ballroom+

June 22         St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House+

June 23         Evanston, IL – SPACE+

June 24         Cleveland, OH – Mahalls 20 Lanes+

June 25         Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern+

*w/ Portair

+w/ The Ballroom Thieves

EP Art // Download Here



1. Lovely Enough

2. Past Tense

3. For an Evening

4. Think I’m Gonna Make It

5. New Name to Heartbreak

6. Happy for Me


“…Could she be the next Taylor Swift? We wouldn’t be surprised…”

– American Songwriter

“…an intimate fresh take on a summertime love story — meshing Emily’s eloquent songwriting, soothing voice, and warm acoustics and synths together to create a luxuriant soundscape.”

– Early Rising

“…Emily James’ storytelling unveils a signature style…”


“Artist of the Week”

– Ones to Watch

“…James explores a new realm of narrative depth with textured, ethereal pop melodies and her enchanting vocals…”


“…stunning voice and impactful lyricism…”
– Sweety High

“We’re sure that before too long, the whole world will be talking about Emily James because her talent and creativity are never-ending.”
 The Honey Pop

Press Photo // Download Here


LA-based singer-songwriter Emily James has come a long way – both musically and geographically – since the start of her career. In her early teens, Emily began sharing her original music publicly at open mics in the New York area and, soon after, in Nashville where she would make regular trips to gig at venues throughout the Music City. She eventually went on to spend two years there, working alongside powerhouse producers Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves) and Jacquire King (Kings of Leon) to record her debut EP, the self-titled, Emily James.

After Nashville, Emily relocated to Los Angeles where she would start to self-produce from her bedroom and release a number of independent projects while also a student at UCLA. After graduating, Emily signed with Nettwerk Music Group and released her acclaimed EP, Illuminate, in July 2022, which includes standout singles “Brooklyn” and “Cannonball.”

Now with new music on the horizon, Emily James continues to prove her range and versatility as an artist, oscillating between synth-laden indie-pop tracks and vulnerable ballads that place her soulful essence and sheer talent as a singer-songwriter at the forefront.

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