emzae – Thrive (self-released)

emzae – Thrive (self-released)

Derby-based electro-pop artist and producer emzae releases her new single THRIVE – an anthem for anyone who has ever felt socially awkward.

Emzae THRIVE single art workArtist: emzae
Track: THRIVE
Label: Self-released
Released: 31 July 2020
Find it: Spotify

The best pop music, it is often said, manages to take instantly hummable unashamedly catchy melodies and lyrics you can sing along to but which reflect some darker or more introspective matter.

If that’s the case then Derby-based artist and producer emzae is well on her way to creating some damn fine pop songs – and latest release THRIVE gives us another taste of that.

Taking influence from the electro-infused production of New Order and Pet Shop Boys there is more than a little retro dance and pop in the sound here. From squelchy beats to drops and clipped handclaps. In looking backwards for the electro-pop sounds and matching it to intimate lyrical reflections of her present emzae is slowly but surely setting the foundations for future classics.

Retaining a DIY lo-fi aesthetic – and if there were criticism its that it’s a little too lo-fi and restrained in places to really hit its pop stride –  it’s nevertheless a track which pumped up and rounded off wouldn’t have sounded out of place in the hands of Charli XCX.

“THRIVE is an anthem for anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable or out of place in a social setting,” says emzae of the track, “It’s for anyone who’s ever been in a bathroom cubicle at some sort of bar, dreading the fact they’ve got to emerge from it at some point. For anyone who’d like to embark on the path to being unashamedly themselves and not feeling bad about that. But also having a dance whilst they’re doing it.”

‘It makes no sense to me / hating on yourself / just because you’re different to / someone else’

emzae has been quietly building a brilliant collection of bedroom pop gems and honing her skills in production alongside. There is again some parallels with Charli XCX here, who cut her teeth with underground releases before hitting the big time. That’s a pretty exciting thought: that in an early form here’s a pop star of the future learning her craft and giving us some rough-cut gems as she does so.

Find emzae: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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