What a dramatic title, right? The thing is, it’s no exaggeration to say that progressive powerhouse Emerge‘s latest from Elliptical Sun Recordings is a light in the sometimes dark world of the music business. All artists strive (or at least say they do) for a “journey,” so much so that the term is more a trope than a happy surprise at this point. Not so in ‘Veracity‘.
Listeners should expect nothing less from this Seattle-based producer, who boasts a consistently-gorgeous discography from labels like Elliptical Sun and AVA Records, and is a regular feature on Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy Radio Show. But these are the least meaningful of his credentials; listening to one moment of his music, particularly this EP, will tell you all you need to know about Emerge.
Was there anything in particular in your personal life that inspired the EP? The ups and downs amid these four tracks are palpable.
The music I write is always personal to me. I think of each track as a journal entry into that particular time in my life. ‘Veracity’ was the first track I wrote for the EP. Originally I only intended to write a single but once I got going I had an urge to go for an EP. I chose the name because it means a devotion to truth and fact. Given the tumultuous times we are living in, truth and facts are extremely important.
‘Stargaze’ is so bright and mystical, with some elements reminding me of Odesza and the like. In general, it seems like a deviation from your typical sound. Was this an experimental track for you?
Actually, Stargaze is not that much of a deviation from how I like to produce. Long before I started producing as Emerge I had other music projects that were very much influenced by IDM and Ambient artists like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. Writing ‘Stargaze’ felt very natural to me. It has a lot of call backs to music I love. I think I was listening to a lot of Cure when I wrote it. It has this “Happy Sad” thing going for it. I love melancholy music I guess… or it could be the rain here in Seattle.
‘Feeling Free’ hits you hard after a rather delicate intro. What feelings do you get from this track, and is there any relevance in the title?
For this tune, I wanted to write something that had a balance of delicate and aggressive. Being the second track on the EP, I wanted it to ease the listener into the next phase of the story. I love getting lost in music and I feel like this song has that vibe. The name came to me when I was listening to one of the final versions on a drive. There are so many beautiful drives where I live and I remember seeing an open road and just feeling free.
‘The Force’ has been getting some mainstream attention already, right? Is this a Star Wars reference?
Yes! ‘The Force’ got some early support on ABGT as well as the title track of the EP. I am a very big Star Wars fan and I actually started writing this song on May 4th. The name seemed fitting.
Can you tell me about your relationship with Elliptical Sun? Did they help guide the direction of the EP or offer any collaboration?
I’ve had a long standing relationship with Elliptical Sun. I’ve known Alex for a few years now. I had a lot of early releases on the label and actually introduced Adrian Alexander to Alex some time back. They have been a perfect unit in creating such a solid label. They gave me complete autonomy when writing the EP and essentially allowed me to just send them everything when it was near finished. There were a few suggestions at the end but overall they allowed me to just put out the music I like to create. This is what I think makes them such a great label.