Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: EMLYN

Upon the release of her debut album, loneliest b!tch in america, the alt-pop artist talks heartbreak and Taylor Swift’s influence.

emlyn

Photography by Anna Webber

emlyn
Photography by Anna Webber

No new music Friday would be complete without the drop of a debut album, right? Crashing into the alt-pop scene with an almighty bang today, artist emlyn has looked to leave her grunge-tinged mark with the release of her first album, loneliest b!tch in america. Blending syrupy vocals with angsty narratives, the newcomer has looked to enchant listeners with her soul-baring and heartbreak-centric project – something she does effortlessly, we might add.

Speaking on her debut and the creation process behind her album, the artist explained, “I’m definitely an artist that writes in ‘projects’ or ‘eras.’ loneliest b!tch in america was an album that came together following a major heartbreak for me. I went through weeks of crying and hurt, only to realise the space in which I felt the most empowered and badass was the studio. Slowly but surely, many of the pieces of this project that started out as expressions of anger become deeply empowering. However, it was also important to me to touch on other pieces of myself as a human being that are equally as real, like pain and heartbreak, anxiety around opening your heart up again, or even the challenges of growing up. My only mindset prior to the way it unfolded was to be honest in every emotion that I felt and to tell that story in each song.”

Talking her heartbreak-inspired tracks, Taylor Swift’s influence and a future filled with touring, the artist sat down with Wonderland upon the release of her debut album. Head below to enjoy our interview with emlyn…

Hey emlyn! How are you? How has this past year been?
Hi! I’m doing well today, thank you. This year has honestly been the best year of my life. I can’t put into words what a whirlwind it’s been putting an EP out a year ago with not a whole lot of ears on it to now, where there are millions of people around the world every month listening to my songs. The year far exceeded my expectations, but mostly connecting with people the way I have has changed my life forever

The pandemic affected everyone, how do you think it affected your creativity?
The pandemic affected all of my friends and peers in different ways, but personally, it was quite positive for my creativity. Given how awful it was for so many, it’s special to know there was good that came from it as well. I spent a lot of time writing and working on Zoom with my producers. However, the biggest part for me was building on social media. Apps like TikTok and Instagram reels drastically helped me reach a larger audience which I never could have imagined otherwise. I discovered that producing content could be an entirely new creative outlet for me.

And where are you from, do you think your hometown has impacted your sound?
Wow, interesting thought! I’m from Nashville, TN – aka Music City. I was born and raised by music, though primarily Nashville is more the centre of country music. However, growing up, seeing my dad and my brother play in bands of all different genres, I think being surrounded by music, in general, majorly impacted my sound. I was given the space to listen and love anything I gravitated toward without judgement. My brother played straight rock music and I was in love with Britney Spears or *NSYNC. More than anything, the accessibility to the stage was probably what impacted me more than anything. Doing this as a profession never seemed too out of reach.

Now you’re dropping your debut album, loneliest b!tch in america – talk us through your mindset going into it!
I’m definitely an artist that writes in ‘projects’ or ‘eras.’ loneliest b!tch in america was an album that came together following a major heartbreak for me. I went through weeks of crying and hurt, only to realise the space in which I felt the most empowered and badass was the studio. Slowly but surely, many of the pieces of this project that started out as expressions of anger become deeply empowering. However, it was also important to me to touch on other pieces of myself as a human being that are equally as real, like pain and heartbreak, anxiety around opening your heart up again, or even the challenges of growing up. My only mindset prior to the way it unfolded was to be honest in every emotion that I felt and to tell that story in each song.

And looking back on it, what was the most challenging aspect of the process?
The most challenging aspect was deciding when I was truly finished with the album. I came to realise that it’s scary for me to say when something is done. I’m always worried I missed something or didn’t cover everything I meant to. I thought I was done with the album after I finished writing “adulting” but then went back into the studio the next week and wrote the single “temporary funeral.” So I think the challenge for me is getting out of my head and letting go of my perfectionism just a bit so that I can let it out into the world.

With this being your debut, have you felt any pressure?
I haven’t felt pressure from the outside – only within myself. I don’t want to disappoint anyone who’s heard a clip of something online and then they go to hear the rest of the song and it doesn’t live up to the standard set. The most important thing to me is my fans feeling connected to the music, so the pressure is mainly what I put on myself to meet those expectations.

What do you hope people take away from it?
I hope people take what they need and leave the rest. When I went through my breakup, all I wanted to listen to was Lizzo. I did not want to hear a song about growing up or anxiety. I wanted bad bitch bangers and nothing else. If that’s what someone needs, I hope that’s what they take. And whenever they are ready to receive another piece of it, then they can do that too. There’s no right way to listen to this body of work. I hope they feel whatever they need to feel in that moment.

Who would you say inspires you?
Taylor Swift inspires me as an artist and a writer. My mum inspires me as a human being.

What do you hope people take away from your sound?
Genuinely, my favourite kind of music is anything that either makes me feel confident and empowered or just less alone in the moment. I hope people listen to my music and feel any of those things.

What is next for you? What are you most excited for?
I am hoping to tour this year! I just signed with a booking agency and hit a couple of cities on the west coast in early May, but I mostly just want to see everyone in person that’s found my music on social media. Nothing beats the feeling of connecting face to face, whether it’s hearing my songs sung back to me or talking to someone after a show. I am most excited to connect with everyone following this album.

NEW NOISE: EMLYN

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