Richmond, VA – For those who have read my reviews, you know I am quite familiar with Emma Garell. She happened to be the first person I photographed on stage with an official media pass. Since that December 2018 day I have witnessed the musical evolution that would be Emma. I recently spoke with Emma about her young musical career and the release of her new single, “Mother May I”.
In the beginning there was Anaheim, a destination but also her commercial starting point. Emma’s journey started long before this destination. She looked upon “Destination Anaheim”, and it was good! But her journey started long before that release.
When I spoke with Emma, she recalled singing along with Hanna Montana and having dreams of one day being a Broadway star, or at least performing on stage. Catching on, her family supported her musical aspirations and suggested she take piano lessons, which she did. After a few months she got bored, so with the support of her family she transitioned to vocal lessons. After a year or two of vocal lessons with a private coach, she made the leap to the performance-oriented School of Rock (SOR). This is where she learned the ins and outs of rock and roll. Emma says that the performance-based nature of SOR was a challenge because of her shy nature. As one who has seen her perform, while perhaps shy off stage, she lets it all out when delivering her set.
“Mother May I” is her 4th single and shows her followers, new and old, how Emma has evolved from a School or Rocker to her own unique style, and it is good. While talking with Emma, it was obvious that there was a lot of thought going into her evolution. Anaheim was the beginning, remaining within Emma’s comfort zone as well as delivering on the image she had achieved prior to the release. Her next two singles, “Crawl” and “I Wanna See Blood” were transition songs and were actually released in reverse order, in part because Blood was farther away from “Destination Anaheim” and she was afraid she would lose some of her listeners. These singles allowed Emma to add a more emotional element to her music. In her words, “Writing these songs allowed me to be more open and more emotional. I feel the Destination style made it harder for me to be as emotional as I like”.
“Mother May I” is her last single before the release of her first album. The song definitely has an emotional edge, as it is about the difficulty in being in a relationship with an addict. The cinematography amplifies the emotion as it depicts Emma speaking, singing, and interacting with those who are close to her, but they are in an apparent catatonic state. The feeling conveyed was that of being all alone with all your friends. The vocals are all Emma. Yes, there is an edge, but it is her natural voice, not the harsher rock sound from Destination. Emma calls her style a little poppy, indie, punky, and rocky. All were quite evident in the song.
To date, all four of her singles have had a specific appeal. It has been quite interesting to see Emma evolve from a performer whose style had been sculpted by others in their image to an artist who has found her own image. Emma performed music that would appeal to its creator. Now, on the release of her fourth single, it is obvious that Emma has evolved as a creator. As she looks upon “Mother May I”, she should smile and be proud, because it is good.
Check out Emma’s newest release, “Mother May I” below: