click here for more
Interview: Emily Edrosa Speaks Out About New Album 'Another Wave Is Coming'

Interview: Emily Edrosa Speaks Out About New Album 'Another Wave Is Coming'

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Alea Balzer / Thursday 12th November, 2020 4:43PM

Back in Aotearoa following an extended stay in Los Angeles, Street Chant songwriter Emily Edrosa embraces a new era with the forthcoming release of her long-awaited debut solo album Another Wave Is Coming. Launching locally on 20th November via her own imprint PSL Sound, and in the US courtesy of Park The Van, the new record was written and recorded by Edrosa in her stateside HQ, with famed producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Sonic Youth, Waxahatchee) bringing his mixing skills to the table, and drums on selected tracks courtesy of Alex Freer (AC Freezy) with Liz Stokes (The Beths) handling drum recording / engineering duties. The 2017 Taite Music Prize winning artist generously sat down for an in-depth chat with Chris Cudby ahead of next week's headline show at The Wine Cellar, alongside just announced supports Chewy Gum and Disciple Pati...

Emily Edrosa supporting French For Rabbits
Friday 13th November - Nivara Lounge, Hamilton*

Tickets on sale HERE via UTR*

Emily Edrosa 'Another Wave Is Coming' Album Release
Friday 20th November - The Wine Cellar, Auckland w/ Chewy Gum & Disciple Pati

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Chris Cudby: How are you feeling following the elections in the US and in New Zealand, back to back?

Emily Edrosa: It's funny because I moved to America, I think a week before Donald Trump got in. And then I moved back three weeks or a month before he got out. I love my timing. Not that it really affected me because I'm not exactly a minority. Frankly, I think Biden is a war criminal... but in terms of immediate effect for people who need it, it is good that Trump got out.

In the New Zealand election... it's not John Key, it's not National, so happy about that. I feel like the Greens are really the only reasonable option, so it does disappoint me when the majority goes to the smiling celebrity. But I don't know — politics, I go too deep on it sometimes. The whole world's kind of a mess. I am happy to be in New Zealand. I think that if National had been in charge and Covid hit, that would have been a pretty different story. So that is good.

Was it weird moving back from LA to New Zealand? Was that a planned move or was it something that was out of necessity?

I remember when Covid hit, Jacinda said "come back". I was like, oh my god what's going on? Like everyone else, I never could have imagined what a global pandemic would look like. I thought about it for a long time. I lost my job from Covid because I was working in hospitality, the place I was working at closed down. Bernie Sanders, champion of the world, made them give everybody who was on the dole an extra $600 a week... because the dole there is really not enough to live on, it's the same situation here. It was fine for a while... but then that ran out. It was a brain wave moment. I was like, oh my album's coming out, and New Zealand doesn't have Covid, of course I will move back.

I actually kind of missed it, because it does make your life a lot simpler. When you can't leave your house and all you're doing is going to the supermarket and thinking what's for dinner. And then suddenly I'm back here and it's people standing really close to me and breathing in my face, and it's actually quite intense, when you are used to seeing other people as a threat.

I just spent the last six months, every time I leave my house I was just listening to James Ferraro. You're walking down the street and you see somebody walking down the street on the sidewalk and you go [skrrrt!] how can I get away from this person? It's so dystopian to see another person and immediately consider them a threat.

I'm interested in what it was like initially, moving to the States... What was it like getting reestablished in a different musical environment? Or was it even that different?

I am a bit of a self-sabotager, to be honest. I don't think I really did (put) my best foot forward, but at the same time it was really difficult and humbling to move somewhere and have no cred or anything. Which was not what I was used to in New Zealand... People in LA, it's like every show is a showcase, because that's where the industry is. People there are quite picky about who they want to play with. No one wants to get somebody who doesn't have hype or stuff like that.

I actually don't really care about commercial success... on this album I was living in America, of course I wanted to "get discovered". But I feel now I'm on the other side I'm like — I actually only care about creating music. It made me realise the reasons I'm doing it, if that makes sense.

The new album, it sounds like it's all you, but it sounds quite open.

I moved there with my partner. I think as you get older, it actually becomes harder to make friends, and so we were really quite isolated. We didn't really know that many people in LA and we were just there together in the house. And I got married. I feel like the album's about feeling lonely and being married [laughs].

Yeah I did do everything myself. The way I did it was I would write the songs on the DAW, I was using ProTools at the time, and do the MIDI drums. And then write the whole song and record it all and then send it to two different drummers on the album. I play drums on one song. Then they would record the drums and I'd record everything all over again.

Just wondering, was there any like other material left on the cutting room floor from the album? 

There was, two or three songs that I just never finished. One of them John (Agnello) did mix, but didn't suit the album. But I don't really write like that. Often when people are saying, with songwriting, write out the bad ones, and no one ever has to hear them? I just don't do that. I keep working on it until it is good, and then it gets released. I know that sounds like kind of arrogant to be like "well I don't write a bad song", but if you just work on a song, until it's good, then it's good.

I'm gonna ask about some new songs on the record. What's 'When Our Brains Betray Us' about?

It's about falling out of love with somebody. Your brain is betraying you by being like, I don't want to be with this person anymore. I feel for me, I have emotion and then I build logic around it, to rationalise. I'm sure everyone does. Maybe it should be called 'When Your Heart Betrays You' [laughs]. It's all about having episodes. The whole album.

What about 'Lesbian Pope'? I've been listening to a lot of early Cure recently and it kind of reminds me a little bit of that.

Oh yeah, the baseline is pretty Cure-ish right. It's about probably like the least emotional song of the album. That song's just about how people are fucking idiots. Like walking up to somebody and just having a yarn... that song's just about standing around.

'A New Career' definitely seems like a relatable one for musos, especially at the moment.

It's about the artist mindset and how difficult it is. The reason why artists can create art, or good art and good artists, is that most of time they're sensitive people. You know, if you're sensitive you're going to have mental illness problems, and the world doesn't respect us. They want us to do a coding course. It is pretty hard. And also being in a relationship with somebody who's going through that. Anybody who's in a relationship with me will be going through that. Because you're constantly having to go to barbecues with your cousins and they go "are you still doing that music thing?"

[groans] Ah fuck.

And you're like, this is my soul. This is my life. Thank you for that. They look at you and they go "well you're not living in a mansion with a pool and having groupies, so you're a failure." It ain't about that.

You just can't stop, that's the problem of being an artist. I mean if you're true artist. I'm constantly like "well I'm going to quit music", but I never ever could. I like reading. It's like somebody saying "do you want to stop reading?" I'm never going to stop reading.

Who's playing in your live band at your shows over the next two weeks? What have you got planned for your album launch show at Wine Cellar?

I just got my friends like Dorian who's my best friend and and incredible dummer and Nich, so it's TOOMS. They're just both so lovely and chill and do their homework.

You'll be playing stuff from the new album?

It'll be stuff from the new album and then a couple of songs like from my EP. Yeah, it's just going to be all hits.

Digital as well as black and limited edition red 12" vinyl pre-sales for 'Another Wave is Coming' are available here.


Share this
Subscribe/Follow Us
Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on your favourite platform  

You can show your support to keep UnderTheRadar running by making a contribution. Any small amount can make a huge difference and keep us bringing you the best, comprehensive local content. Support UTR