Album Premiere: On ‘Confluence’, Emma’s Lounge Create a Playful Collage of Influences & Moods

Emma's Lounge © Rich Levine
Merging inspirations and experiences, as the name suggests, ‘Confluence’ is an animated journey that Emma’s Lounge are encouraging us to join.

— —

What is the purpose of music to you? Is it to transport your mind? To keep you company? Form a soundtrack to a moment in time? Maybe it’s to simply elevate a mood and exaggerate the positivity, intensify the motivation and embrace the outbursts of weirdness. For Emma’s Lounge this is the motive behind making music, as well as their intention for how it is received by others – thus, their songs become an energetic blend of genres putting those three attributes at its core.

Come on baby get (real close up)
Start to feel that (human touch)
Little specter, are you primed for departure
Reaching out wide, and you try even harder
Won’t you let us be your (transformer)
Help you feel a little (bit warmer)
Voltage circulating to all of the circuits
We ain’t gonna stop, we ain’t never gonna quit it
-“Gimme Yer Love,” Emma’s Lounge
Stream: ‘Confluence’ – Emma’s Lounge

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Confluence, the second album by Emma’s Lounge. The five piece from North Carolina, made up of Logan Venderlic, Meg Heathman, Mackenzie Richburg, Emma Forster and Brendan Bower, create music they describe as ‘Space Age Folk Wave’ and the fiddle combined with electric guitars, drums, keys, and attention-grabbing vocals can give that impression. But their songs are also like a whirlwind launch into a sonic universe where audience participation is omnipresent. Opening track “Cosmic Showgowers” introduces this with the sound of people chattering in a sociable setting over a euphoric riff. It explodes into “Gimme Yer Love,” catchy synth pop rock with belting vocals reaching out like an arm pulling you in.

I got heaven ahead, and hell behind
Some days I can’t make up my damn mind
Wanna believe I got it all figured out
But reality is takin’ me down
So feed the fire, stoke the flames
I’m the only one to blame
If I can get outta my own head
I can finally put these demons to bed
-“Get Out (Of Your Own Way),” Emma’s Lounge
Confluence - Emma's Lounge

Confluence – Emma’s Lounge

“Gimme Yer Love” is followed by “March,” brooding with classic rock, before a traditional folky feel gallops through “Breakdown,” the rapid fiddle over electric guitar and the soulful vocals generating feet tapping and hip swaying. “Get Out (Of Your Own Way)” is retro in tone while “Make Your Medicine” is a ballad that turns heavy. The album can be perhaps best summed up through “Arvilla Pt.II.” Its transitions are somewhat random, going from an early 2000s pop-punk opening to a bridge slightly reminiscent of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” before ending with an “Mmmbop” style chorus.

“As the album name suggests, Confluence was born from a merger of different creative processes, inspirations, and life experiences. Each song has its own personality that draws from the coalescence of characters in our band,” Emma’s Lounge tell Atwood Magazine.

Lyrically Confluence is about finding strength within the self, battling daily elements with a light-hearted sigh raising of the middle finger. “Breakdown” ends with the following lines as though a personification of music, it being that reliant form of encouragement and comfort – a sidekick, companion.

Cause I’m right here to let you
I’m right here to catch you
When you break
When you break yourself down
Emma's Lounge © Rich Levine

Emma’s Lounge © Rich Levine

So don’t get too caught up in being lost” is the advice in “Make Your Medicine,” “to be found sometimes, you have to pay the cost, if you choose to live then choose to find your gift and bring it all.” Obstacles include reality taking us down, as touched on in “Get Out (Of Your Own Way)” and the overexposure of advertising discreetly making its way into all forms of identity (“March”). Whoever you are and whatever you’re doing, as long as you’re pumped up and rearing for a journey, Emma’s Lounge are the welcoming route to take.

“We love freedom from the confines of “needing” all of our music to fit into one particular genre. We love variety,” Emma’s Lounge explain. “Our biggest concern is to make music that is an authentic expression of ourselves, whether it’s serious or silly. There’s no telling what will happen when we all come together”

The circle of life to be completed
One more trip ‘round
(one more trip ‘round) is all we needed
The yellowed grass, waking up
after a nap in a blanket of snow
The spirit moves, and whispers of tomorrow
So come along, strip it off,
swim naked in the tribal gospel
So feel the pull of feeling full and glow
-“Arvilla Pt. II,” Emma’s Lounge

The band’s debut, 2017’s Heart Heavy, launched their energised and textually varied approach to music but it was arguably more straightforward: the guitars, Meg’s keyboard, and Emma’s fiddle largely consistently intermingled as Logan’s vocals took lead. With Confluence, you’re never quite sure what will be next, who will be singing and what will be the tone. It’s therefore like a mood board of motivational quotes, both in regards to narrative and the sound, with the good vibes and individual influences collaged playfully together.

Confluence is out October 12, 2018! Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Emma’s Lounge’s Confluence with Atwood Magazine as the band provide their personal take on the music and lyrics of their sophomore album!

Stream: ‘Confluence’ – Emma’s Lounge

:: Inside Confluence ::

Confluence - Emma's Lounge

— —

Cosmic Showgoers

An extended intro to the subsequent tune, “Gimme Yer Love,” this one is all about our guitarist, Brendan Bower, showing some of his skills. It was our engineer, Micah’s, idea to add the “crowd” of people (he was inspired by a Marvin Gaye tune). The crowd was just layers of us saying mostly ridiculous things (Kenzie and Brendan did a take where they just talked about how bad the band was going to be!). 

Gimme Yer Love

This song is a fun, poppy ode to our purpose and a follow-up to our festival paean, “Shakin’ & Swayin'”. We give “Shakin'” a little shout-out in the chorus of “Gimme.” At our live shows, it’s important to us that we create an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable and feels like they can be themselves, and that’s what “Gimme” is all about. We beseech our audience to let their hair down and send us back the same love and energy we’re trying to send to them.

March

“March” is the product of years of angst and is sort of a coming out party for Logan. It’s about fighting back against leading a life of quiet desperation.

Breakdown

This song is all about breaking something to rebuild it. It was a time in Meg’s life where she had broken everything so she could put the pieces back together in a way that made sense to her. It’s all about fire, the elemental ancestor that burns away that which is no longer needed.

Get Out (of Your Own Way)

There’s no doubt, shitty things happen. The dark and twisted lyrics and musical arrangement somehow manage to painfully exfoliate what lies just beneath the surface: the fact that we make the decisions that create our future. No matter what trauma we’ve seen or been through, we’re a decision away from growth or destruction. 

Heading for the Hills

The lyrics detail Logan’s move from Charleston, SC to Asheville, NC, where Emma’s Lounge was born. Once the lineup came together, each member shaped the song into what it is now— maybe our best example of “space age folk wave,” if you believe it exists.

Arvilla

The lyrics detail Logan’s move from Charleston, SC to Asheville, NC, where Emma’s Lounge was born. Once the lineup came together, each member shaped the song into what it is now— maybe our best example of “space age folk wave,” if you believe it exists.

Arvilla

This two-part song started as a poem about (and named for) the tiny unincorporated area where Logan grew up (in rural West Virginia, where his parents still live). Meg joined Logan to write the lyrics for the second half, which expands the scope of the song and gives it a fresh breath of hope.

Make Your Medicine

This world is in so much need and crisis has manifested itself endlessly over our globe. While the need is overwhelming, (there are now 7 BILLION of us on this planet)… What if even half of that number began to heal themselves and started using their own unique and creative medicine to fulfill their purpose? Meg hopes that these are the types of questions that will arise in the minds of those who hear this song.

Let Me In

This is a very personal song for Meg but it extends far outside of her into our “fuck-centric” culture. Sex should be about connection and respect but unfortunately more often than not, a lot of people are left more disconnected than ever after soulless encounters. If you have picked a trustworthy human being, then “Let me in” is a plea to be vulnerable with and actually trust them because TRUE connection changes everything!

— — — —

Confluence - Emma's Lounge

Connect to Emma’s Lounge on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Rich Levine

:: Stream Emma’s Lounge ::


:: Emma’s Lounge tour dates ::

9/30 – Schuylkill Haven, PA​ – Meeting of the Minds
10/4 – 10/7 – Pittsboro, NC​ – Shakori Hills Grassroots
10/14 – Asheville, NC ​- Asheville Music Hall
10/30 – Boone, NC​ – Tapp Room
11/1 – Charleston, SC​ – The Pour House
11/2 – Wilmington, NC​ – The Whiskey
11/3 – Macon, GA​ – The Hummingbird Stage
12/13 – Raleigh, NC​ – The Pour House Music Hall
dates & more info @ emmasloungemusic.com

Francesca Rose

Francesca is a Fashion Journalism graduate based in London, UK, who enjoys filling journals with thoughts and fantasies as well as knitting fun things to wear. She considers music a form of storytelling and is fascinated by the connections that songs can form, whether it's relatable lyrics or the personal associations a sound conjures up.