The first single from the young L.A. songwriter/musician is a sweet tribute to a friend’s mom
When you wanna discover a fresh new artist, sometimes its cool to see familiar names accompanying them in the mix.
So upon diving into the work of rising L.A. artist Emma Ayz, I was excited to check the credits to see who appears on her forthcoming EP Animus, which comes out on July 15th. And it was chock-full of serious talent attached to some of the biggest names in modern indie rock lending their skills to help bring Ayz’s singular creation to fruition.
Guitarist Dylan Day (Jenny Lewis, Ethan Gruska, Nick Hakim), bassist Daniel Rhine (Madison Cunningham, Phoebe Bridgers), and engineer/co-producer Cassidy Turbin (Beck) all contributed to her EP, assisting in a sound that fans of Mitski and Lana Del Rey will immediately endear.
And at various times, her live band has included guitarist Greg Uhlmann (Perfume Genius), drummer Sam Kauffman-Skloff (Angel Olsen), drummer Jorge Balbi (Sharon Van Etten), and bassist Pat Kelly (Perfume Genius).
Incredibly impressive for a breakthrough artist who wrote and produced the songs herself, and her discovery reminds me of a Gen Z take on the rise of Karla Bonoff in the late 70s, whose 1977 debut was kissed by the musicianship of such session gods as Waddy Watchel, Lee Sklar, Russ Kunkel and Andrew Gold.
VIDEO: Karla Bonoff “Personally”
So it was without hesitation that we welcomed the opportunity to premiere the video for the “Judy,” the lead single off Animus.
“‘Judy’ is about witnessing a dear friend grapple with lost time after their mother [Judy] quickly passed,” she explains of the song. “I tried putting myself in their shoes as they navigated grief and its many waves/faces. I played with the instrumentation on this one, a stark drone leading into mystical but very simple guitar and synth, because the song structure itself is actually quite repetitive. My melody was very inspired by my guitar part which I wrote to portray how remembering someone you love can leave you floating in space. In that vein, I saw that the song did not necessarily want to ‘go’ anywhere or have any conclusion so I didn’t force it to.”
A video for the song wasn’t initially in the cards until she saw how the tune itself impacted her friend Tess, who wound up directing it.
“When I first sent ‘Judy’ to Tess, I was not planning on making a video for it,” she explains. “But she asked if she could shoot a video of me singing it anyway. It was really special to see how much this song had touched her, since she had recently lost a parent, too.”
Ayz is currently working on a proper full-length with the mighty Luke Temple behind the boards that will be out someday soon.
In the meantime, watch the video for “Judy” below.
VIDEO: Emma Ayz “Judy”