The last time I wrote about Emily Breeze she was channelling tales of Cults and UFO’s through the lens of a smokey New Orleans back room jazz bar. Now back with a brand new single we’ve upped sticks 1200 miles to a quasi fictional 70’s New York…
The lights are up, it’s so late as to be early, Iggy has his head in a toilet, Lou Reed’s staggering on the wild side and David Bowie: Patron Saint of Cool looks on in amusement.
Gone are the stately piano lines and husky vocals, here instead are drum machine beats, casio keys and dry guitar tones Tom Verlaine dreams of.
From the title onwards we’re given sign posts to this new direction: ‘Hey Kidz’ (the Z surely a glib comment on rock n roll’s age and relevance in this day and age.)
The song is packed with tossed off sardonic couplets detailing reference points of Counter Culture and rebellion: Leather jackets, Beefheart, Bill Hicks and amphetamines, all delivered in a slightly distorted vocal. Is it a warning, a tease or just fact? Probably all three. You can almost see the red rimmed eyes half hidden behind those mirrored shades…
With the ongoing affects of Covid 19, 2020 is neither the Summer of Love or of Hate… it’s the Summer of Nothing at all, and an industry that’s being destroyed is beginning to react and channel that frustration: “Waiting for a crowd to entertain, everyday’s a holiday” sums it up perfectly. It’s part lockdown lamentation blues, part ridicule of the excess that those on the outside thinks defines the industry.
Emily and her band of troubadours are deftly reflecting the times without directly referencing it, showing the nimble artistry they’ve developed whilst delivering catchy hooks and sharp dynamics at the same time.
It’s a pop song for the burn outs, an inside joke speaking directly to the frustrations of the music makers.
“I hate rock n roll ” she wails, almost in resignation… and we do, almost as much as we love it. That’s the eternal dichotomy that keeps it human, keeps it alive, amongst the tired clichés and broken promises of dying before we get old.
As long as it’s as crafted and yet effortless sounding as this, I’d say rock n roll is in rude health, and with Emily Breeze, it’s as cool as ever.
‘Hey Kidz’ is released across all digital platforms 14/08/2020 via Sugar Shack Records.