Despite what you may have heard, rock is not dead. And most of today’s groups giving it a needed kick in the pants are bands led by women.
A recent New York Times article stated that “guitars may seem to matter less than ever. But just beneath the mainstream, dozens of female bands are making some of the most urgent, politically relevant music around.”
Here in El Paso, singer-songwriter Emily Davis is doing just that with her heart-on-sleeve lyrics, biting wit, and her own brand of acoustic-electric folk-punk.
Davis’ backing band, The Murder Police, comprises other local favorites, including Villains Kiss, Pet People and Dirty Circuits, among others.
Emily Davis and the Murder Police recently returned from a six-week tour that included stops in Austin, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and all points in between.
Now, they are gearing up to release a new album, “Same Old World,” in October.
The album’s first single “Heartless” is available now on its Bandcamp page.
Here’s what Davis had to say about her latest tour, upcoming album and more:
Q: What was the biggest takeaway from your most recent tour?
Touring is so, so, so difficult. You have to spend months planning, devote a good chunk of money going into it, and cross your fingers that nothing terrible happens along the way.
We were lucky this latest run, in that most everything went smoothly.
I think one of the biggest takeaways I got from this summer tour is that you can never plan enough.
In fact, it’s probably best to over-plan. Aside from that, we left the road incredibly grateful for all the love and support we were given both on the road and back home.
Q: What’s the biggest difference between playing in El Paso and playing on the road?
It’s definitely a bigger gamble. We have a bigger audience here. We know which local bands are standing out from the crowd and sounding great, which is why we enjoy playing shows with them. We know which bars will pay us, and typically we know how much to expect from them. All of those factors are a complete gamble when touring.
Q: What is the message behind your single “Heartless”?
I’m a very emotional, transparent person and sometimes it comes at a cost. If anything, it’s a reminder to myself, in an overstated fashion, that sometimes I need to pull back. Not every situation has to be an opportunity for vulnerability.
There’s some good in guarding your heart. Maybe even sometimes pretending you don’t have one, especially when it’s hardest to do so.
Q: You wear your heart on your sleeve through your music. Why do you share so much of yourself?
I think music is most powerful when it’s relatable, when it speaks to someone at their very core. And, to be honest, that’s just the way I write. It’s not something I’m intentionally trying to do, it’s just what comes out.
A good chunk of this album is pretty honest about my struggles with bipolar disorder and I’ve had people in the past who’ve come out of the woodwork to empathize with the themes of mental health in my writing.
I’ve certainly had a few songs in the past that crossed the line of going too far, and I’m glad they’re still buried somewhere in a forgotten notebook.
Q: Tell us about your Kickstarter online fundraising campaign. What did it achieve?
We launched our Kickstarter campaign back in May, and were fortunate enough to raise $11,080 through 168 incredibly generous people.
With that money we were able to record 13 tracks at Brainville studios, under the guidance of Chris Common and Ross Ingram.