Emily and Jake
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Emily and Jake

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2019 | SELF

Boston, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2019
Duo Folk Pop





I needn’t have worried: there’s an authenticity and a beautiful simplicity to this song, which transcends climate and location. In less and a minute, I’ve forgotten all about my armchair and the warm summer night. In my mind, I’m transported to a bar in the USA where there’s a guy on stage, singing and playing the guitar. On the dance floor, there’s a girl and there’s a connection between them…
Despite being an observer to this scene in front of me, I can relate to it – as can most people and, as a listener, I get to experience this simple but beautiful love story, the entirety of which is played out in only 3 minutes and 14 seconds. For that time though, I find myself captivated and involved.
The beautifully simple and understated instrumentation in this song (a single guitar and a whistled melody) leaves the listener able to focus on the story being told. Their eyes meet in the bar and the connection is instantaneous. They have the sort of night that we all dream of but the rest of the song leaves us wondering about their repeated question, ‘Will this be the last bus back to Portland? Could this be the end of it all?’

Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic but I find myself rooting for them. The melody and the lyrics drag you in like a good movie: you find yourself caring about these characters, which in less than 3 and a half minutes is quite an achievement. Maybe it’s because it’s such a credible story: Boy meets girl, they fall for each other but has fate dealt the cruel blow of this only being for one night? Even after that, do they both feel the same?
Emily and Jake take turns to tell different parts of the story and their voices complement each other perfectly. There’s something almost metaphorical in the way that both voices seem to dance around each other before coming together into a perfectly pitched harmony – just like the characters in the song. Also mimicking the characters, there are times when the voices separate again and you find yourself waiting for them to reunite.

Emily and Jake – click to visit their website
As the song progresses, we follow Jake and Emily as they meet up again, referencing the kind of real-life love that listeners can really relate to. Things like sharing awful puns, eating tacos and having the time of your life with someone, wondering if they feel the same. That’s the other side of ‘Last Bus to Portland’ that resonates with me. There’s a real vulnerability to it, showing how fragile love can be, how terrifying it can be to have it and wonder if it’s all going to be taken away.
On delving a little deeper into the duo’s social media, I discovered that it’s no fluke that this song feels so real. This part of the biog on their Facebook page feels very familiar to anyone who has listened to this song:
Emily lives in Boston and Jake resides in Portland, how did these two meet? Two words: Lizard Lounge. This venue hosts a killer open mic, but it’s an even greater place for a meet cute. It began one winter night; Emily’s friend convinced her to go Cambridge and watch the finalists compete in the Open Mic Showdown. While in the audience, she heard Jacob sing… and more importantly whistle… and instantly felt a connection. One year later, and these two are happily dating and finishing their first EP.
Needless to say, the whistle that they refer to is prominent in the song, which is endearing. Jake and Emily have let us into their love story but it’s still very much their song, about their relationship and it’s for them.
I won’t spoil the end of the song but I‘m pretty sure that you can guess where it goes. Fortunately for me, the couple also promise on their biog that if we keep track of the band, we’ll get to hear the next part of their story.
By the end of the song, I felt like I’d been on a journey with these two and, like a good book, I found myself wanting to know what happens next.
This world can be a cynical place so it’s good to know that there’s still a place for a simple, sweet love song. The song stays with you after it’s finished – having an impact on your mood just like good music should. - For The Love Of Bands

"Check out Emily MacDonald and Jacob McCurdy’s Music"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily MacDonald and Jacob McCurdy. Them and their team share their story with us below.

Please kick things off for us with some background on the story.
Formed between Boston and Portland, Emily and Jake met in 2017 at The Lizard Lounge open mic night finale in Cambridge, MA. Jake had traveled down from Portland, ME to Boston to enter the LLOMC and earned himself a position in the final showdown. Emily’s friends persuaded her to attend the open mic finale to see who the winner would be. Jake didn’t win the finals, but he did win Emily’s attention. Since then, these star-crossed musicians have been creating and performing lively, warm, and fun acoustic music that reflects their attitudes on life.

In 2018, Emily and Jake exploded onto the New England music scene. They’ve collaborated and performed with many local artists and have played a number of music festivals along the east coast. In March, they released their first single, Last Bus to Portland with raging success, earning recognition across the pond. The song was featured by the Brittish publication For the Love of Bands in early spring. Shortly after, they won the Deli Magazine Emerging Artist of the Month. Shortly after, they were voted Best in Maine for the New England Music Awards. They are partnering with Portland’s Dapper Productions LLC and are recording their first album, St. Augustine to be released in 2019.

We’d love to hear more about Emily and Jake’s work. What do you do they do and why and what do they hope others will take away from their work?
Both Emily and Jake grew up in extremely musical households. Emily’s father has been a music teacher for over 20 years in South Shore of MA. He has written, recorded, and performed music all along the east coast since he was 15 years old. There’s a video recording of Emily singing jingle bells at five, and at that point, she knew that she was destined to be a performer. Jacob grew up having a unique lens into music. His father traded his career as a contractor for a life of music performance and production. For over 20 years, Ed McCurdy has been performing all over the state of Maine as a popular DJ. He also has cultivated an in-home studio with all of the newest recording and production equipment. Though Emily and Jake both grew up writing and creating, their differed experiences and varied skills combine to create a vibrant tapestry of music.

Currently, Emily and Jake work closely with their friends and family to create their music and brand. They have collaborated with both their parents to write and perform music. Jacob’s sister, local Maine artist Naomi McNeill, has designed the duo’s logo and album artwork. Their good friend Adam Hanson has helped write and has been the inspiration to (both good and wrathful) many of the band’s songs.

The indie-folk duo enjoys creating melodic and relatable songs hoping to emotionally and musically connect with their community. Both artists enjoy the simple things in life, like walking their dog Boo Radley, reading Stephen King novels, and going for a ride on Jakes motorcycle. Emily and Jake create music hoping that listeners will feel invited to share in their story.

How can artists connect with other artists?
For those new to the music scene, or to those who haven’t found their Boston community yet, Emily and Jake HIGHLY recommend joining the Facebook group Emerging Boston Area Singer-Songwriters (EBASS). Every single person in this group is extremely supportive, helpful, and encouraging to local artists.

If you prefer a face-to-face interaction, another way to make connections in the Boston area that Emily and Jake have found successful is to play at one of the city’s many open mic nights. You can find an open mic night for almost any night of the week. From the Lizard to 6B Lounge, there are endless ways to find your groove and perform new original music for supportive listeners. And sometimes, there’s even a monetary prize involved.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can see our original work and covers through the links below: - Boston Voyager


1. Where Love Went to Gamble
2 Long Distance Runner
3. Last Bus to Portland
4. Natalie's Song
5. The Gunslinger
6. Her Favorite Song
7. Exit Eighteen
8. Effervescent Zephyr
9. Caleb



Formed between Boston and Portland ME, Emily and Jake are a folk duo who create gracefully warm music with effortless harmonizing, easy melodicism, and raw honesty. “Beautifully simple and understated” states Ian Miller from For The Love of Bands. Imagine their sound as a combination of Mumford and Sons, The Head and The Heart, and Fleetwood Mac.

In 2018, Emily and Jake exploded into the New England music scene. They’ve played a number of music festivals in the New England area including Summerside Music Festival, Nu Muse Music Festival and Maine Folk and Bluegrass Festival. In March they released their first single, Last Bus to Portland on Spotify, Soundcloud, Itunes, with amazing feedback. The duo has won multiple awards including Deli Magazine Emerging Artist of the Month and Best in Maine | New England Music Awards.  They partnered with local Portland, ME production company, Dapper Productions LLC, to record their first album. St. Augustine was released in April, 2019.

Band Members