Emily Rodgers

Emily Rodgers

BandPop

Original compositions, ethereal vocals. "A brand of post-rural, ethereal alt-country drenched in primo melancholy and reverb."

Biography

A native of northern Indiana, Misra Records recording artist Emily Rodgers began writing music in 2003 amidst a move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she now resides. Alternating between solo performances and those with her band, Rodgers striking and penetrating voice radiates with an effortless drama like an iceberg falling apart in warmer climes.

Bright Day, Emily’s first proper album (following a self-released EP), is a gorgeous and intense record. If traditional folk music itself recalls rustic woodland scenes tickled with sunlight, then Bright Day is the snow that sits upon the cabin’s roof and weighs down the branches. The day may be bright, but it’s stark and there’s a chill on the wind.

Rodgers breathes a beautiful desolation into her songs. Witness this verse from the album’s opener:
And in spring alchemy I wake up not alone, though old mistakes follow me and wake me in the night.
Cuz I was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1999
Without words what do we have? I said without words what do we have?
-From “In Spring Alchemy”

This is not light material. The mood of the album is captured perfectly by engineer Josh Antonnucio (Southeast Engine) and iced perfectly in the mastering by the legendary producer Kramer (Galaxie 500, Daniel Johnston, Sufjan Stephens). Delicate guitars, sparse piano and languid pedal steel are joined by the occasional brushed drum drift foreward, but it’s Emily Rodgers’ voice that covers every inch of the record, echoing through even the empty spaces. Nowhere is this more potent than in the song “Hurricane.” The song gorgeously captures the brink of hope which bobs just beyond desperation and embodies everything that’s beautiful in sadness.

It’s like drowning in the dark and fading into black.
There are those who hold on
I am willing to be saved.
-From “Hurricane”

Rodgers seems less akin to the psychedelic pastoral folk of late (perhaps best represented by Joanna Newsom) and even further away from the late 1990’s coffeehouse/Lilith Fair crowd, but perhaps closer to the bleak, introspective beauty found in the output of the 4AD label in the 1980’s, a place where exquisite voices floated ethereally over pretty yet cryptic lyrics at a somber tempo. Rodgers’ voice recalls Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star, Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters and perhaps Tim Buckley at his most serene. These are singers not in fashion at the moment, but tremendously powerful and relevant in these uneasy times. Every dance party comes to an end and every dancer has to look in the mirror and see what’s left after the night is over. This is the record they might find there.
It’s sleepless nights and dreams that just won’t quit, they just won’t quit.
And I’m done touring hospitals, looking for my own.

Yes, great depressions surround me, but my wounds are my own.
-From “Great Depressions”

Bright Day was released on Misra Records on Oct. 6, 2009.

Emily Rodgers has shared the stage with many like-minded artists, including: Magnolia Electric Company, Laura Cantrell, Great Lake Swimmers, Edith Frost, Ike Reilly, Clem Snide, Jolie Holland, and Nina Nastasia and performed at SXSW 2009.

Lyrics

Going Away

Written By: Emily Rodgers

I'm going away,
I'm going away for a long, long while
Cuz you say what I cannot say,
And you say what you should not say.

So can I hold you for spell,
Cuz I'm going away for a long, long while.
And I'm afraid you forget that most times
I wanna do something wrong.

Alone

Written By: Emily Rodgers


You love your reflection in my eyes,
Magnified three times your natural size.
And once I take you to that place,
You let me go.

And I wish you'd leave me alone,
Why do you leave me alone?

No one will ever be enough for you,
But you might just be enough for me.
You are my bad news,
You are my worn-out blues.

Last Call

Written By: Emily Rodgers

I don't remember the tune you sang to me,
But I don't wanna hear you sing anyway.
Just when I go to write love songs wanna know what to say.
Cuz every time I begin, I get ahead of myself again,
And then I'm left wondering how I let it go so far.

And now it's last call and I'm achin'
And I wanna know who you're taking out into the cold,
I've never been so bold.

And we all say what we want is to let go
When all we want is to be left alone.
I shall be released, I shall be released.
Though sometimes I think I'm unreachable
And I know that you think I'm unteachable
But I don't wanna play ‘til I know how it goes.

And I'd be myself if I knew just who that was
But for now I take what I can get.
I turned myself upside down the day we met.
And now each night before I close my eyes,
I pretend you're mine.
I fool myself. I pretend you're mine.

Hurricane

Written By: Emily Rodgers

Check under the house, you’ll find the fuse.
It’s in the air you’ll find the spark.
I’m not afraid of the sun,
I am not afraid of you.

I have visions of when we were married.
I have visions of hospitals at night.
I seek forgiveness for having asked too much of love.

And I’ve got a few things to say to the one who broke your heart.
It’s one more for the road, cuz Tuesday’s finally gone like a hurricane.

I have fallen down the stairs.
I have covered up my scars.
I have been haunted by a ghost whose name I do not know.

It’s like drowning in the dark and fading into black.
There are those who hold on
I am willing to be saved.

In Spring Alchemy

Written By: Emily Rodgers

New beginnings and sunshine daydreams in the text of songs,
And recollections of ourselves,
In gifts given in 6/8 time, and time is still.
You’re something I never thought I’d see, in my own flawed recognition,
But now I see you for what you are, in grace, where I never thought I’d be.

I was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1999
Without words what do we have?
I said without words what do we have?

Spring thaw, I’m drowning in spring downpours
And words finally said to willing listeners,
Lives lived in the manner we’d imagined.
I’m cleaned out, I’m sobered up,
Pen’s flowing too fast for words or recognition.
And in spring alchemy I wake up not alone,
Though old mistakes follow me and wake me in the night.

I was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1999
Without words what do we have? I said without words what do we have?

Discography

-Bright Day. Misra Records (2009)
-Emily Rodgers & Her Majesty's Stars (2005)
-Emily Rodgers/Kevin Finn. In Spring Alchemy (split ep, 2005)