Today’s Song: Rett Madison’s Stunning “Emily” Is a Gut-Punch of Eruptive, Soulful Passion

Rett Madison © 2021
Rett Madison © 2021
An achingly impassioned song of betrayal and longing, Rett Madison’s dynamic “Emily” captures a whirlwind of feeling in three stunningly eruptive, soulful minutes.
 follow our Today’s Song(s) playlist

Atwood Magazine Today's Songs logo

Stream: “Emily” – Rett Madison




“Emily” is a summer song for friendship, betrayal, and queer yearning.

There’s something breathtakingly (if not hauntingly) beautiful about the way Rett Madison belts out the name, Emily. Passion and pain collide in her charged voice as she draws out those two syllables some ten or twelve paces, soaking in the turbulent emotion this person’s mere suggestion evokes. Through Madison’s performance, we feel the stir of what’s been lost and the tremor of what’s been learned in a visceral process of change and undoing. Romantic turmoil doesn’t often spill into our everyday, yet when it does it is all-consuming and ever-present. How do you focus on any task at hand when you’ve been wronged on such a deeply personal, vulnerable level?

Sometimes the best songs are just a vessel of raw self-expression: The result of us pouring ourselves out into something that’s better equipped than our bodies are to handle the intensity of our own inner chaos, unrest, drama, anger, and sadness. An achingly impassioned song of betrayal and longing, Rett Madison’s dynamic “Emily” captures a whirlwind of feeling in three stunningly eruptive, soulful minutes.

Emily - Rett Madison
Emily – Rett Madison
Emily I heard you’ve gone on the town
With a guy that used to take me out
When you talk to our friends do you ask how I’ve been
Nearly half as much as I ask about you
It’s no surprise that you’re doing better than I am
The bed’s still warm from when I walked in on you with my man
But after all that I thought we had something worth saving
Emily

Released August 25, 2021, “Emily” arrives this late summer as Rett Madison’s first proper single of the year – and a palpable outpouring, at that. Stirring and radiant, the song rises from a bed of tender pianos and guitars to become a searing, yet nonetheless sweet, assertion of wrongdoing and faithlessness, heartbreak and anguish. The West Virginia born, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter uses this story of Emily – her romantic Brutus, if you will – as an opportunity to explore not only the lingering pain of betrayal, but also the greater realms of her own sexuality and inhibitions.

Madison herself is the first to say she sings “a lot about grief and queerness,” and in “Emily” she gives herself permission to feel an incredible, vast spectrum of emotion:

Emily I miss our late night walks
Did his kiss replace our heart to hearts
– we both know he ain’t that smart

When I call, your voicemail picks me up
And I know I’ve already begged too much
But I’m over him and what’s done is done

“‘Emily’ is a summer song for friendship, betrayal, and queer yearning,” Madison tells Atwood Magazine. “I wrote ‘Emily’ about a time my friend went on a date with someone I used to be romantically involved with. While writing the song, I realized I missed my friend and our connection more than I missed the previous romantic interest.”

Rett Madison © 2021
Rett Madison © 2021

Both Madison’s lyrics, as well as her performance, are intimately vulnerable and poignant. She holds nothing back from the page as she confronts this friend through song, but in a sense she is also confronting herself and the mixed feelings she has for what has occurred. It’s not just about the loss of this former flame, or the code that’s been ignored; it’s that this friend has opted to leave her life – to no longer take part in that friendship, that kinship and connection, they once shared. This is the loss that spurns her upheaval; this is why she can’t help but draw out “Emily” for as long as her breath allows. It’s the loss of Emily that hurts the most.

It’s no surprise that you’re doing better than I am
The bed’s still warm from when I walked in on you with my man
But after all that I thought we had something worth saving
Emily
You’re the one that I adore
Emily
You’re the one I’m waiting for
Emily

“Emily” is the latest and final pre-release single taken off Rett Madison’s forthcoming debut album Pin Up Daddy, out September 17, 2021. Not only is it a powerhouse of emotion in itself, but it also serves as a vibrant display of Madison’s many strengths as a singer, a songwriter, an arranger, a storyteller, and so on. Give Rett Madison your time, and she’ll reward you with the release you’ll never see coming.

— —

Stream: “Emily” – Rett Madison



— — — —

Connect to Rett Madison on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © 2021


:: Today’s Song(s) ::

Atwood Magazine Today's Songs logo

 follow our daily playlist on Spotify



:: Stream Rett Madison ::


More from Mitch Mosk

His Head, His Heart, and a Fresh Start: An Interview with Josiah Johnson

As Josiah Johnson gets underway with his own solo project, we’re learning...
Read More