Los Angeles based musician Emily Elbert offers another peak into her upcoming album, Woven Together, with new single “For Free,” a bluesy tune with funk undertones and lyrics that focus on uncoupling one’s life instead of complicating it with more stuff. In her new song, she notes we should try finding pleasure in moments and experiences that are simple, inherent and free.
Shunning the idea of modern consumerism and materialistic pleasure, Elbert’s single is a soulful croon to reclaim the parts of ourselves that delight in these sovereign enchantments. Just as Susan Sontag notes how seeing a photograph of a place or thing before one visits it steals the individual’s autonomous perception of it, Elbert asserts that our current system tries to convince us of what we want and need, detracting from who and what we actually are.
“It’s about experiencing joy in simple, innate pleasures; but also a dig at the systems that try to convince us that we’re more ‘consumer’ than spirit or animal,” notes Elbert.
With elements of funk-tinged guitars, folksy vocals and a tight groove, “For Free” vibrates along to the rhythm of the natural world in a communal hum. Its upbeat tone and introspective lyrics find a sweet spot between personal discovery and sage advice applicable to us all.
Woven Together, out Aug. 19, is Elbert’s first album of original music since 2018. Over the last few years, Elbert instead worked on co-writes, studio sessions and tours for industry peers including Gwen Stefani, Esperanza Spalding, Leon Bridges, Sara Bareilles, Jacob Collier, Jenny Lewis, and more.
Her return to her own music marks a deeper, more intimate collection of songs that take on a therapeutic or holistic quality akin to how one would feel when out hiking or camping. Thought-provoking, genre-defying tunes find their way in perfect harmony within Woven Together, touching on themes such as community, self-inquiry, vulnerability and gratitude.
“Making it felt process-oriented and exploratory, without any sense of capitalistic pressure – music for the sake of making something loving and true,” says Elbert.
The album also features additional instrumentation from fellow musicians and former collaborators including guitarist Dylan Day (Amos Lee, Grace Potter), bassist Solomon Dorsey (Lucius, KT Tunstall), drummer Abe Rounds (Meshell Ndegeocello, Andrew Bird, Blake Mills) and Hailey Niswanger (Clairo, Kali Uchis) on woodwinds. Their inclusion on the album further adds to its overall themes and DIY nature of Elbert as an independently driven and curious artist.
Words: Patti Sanchez