Emily Parish – When Did The Guilt Get To You? | Vulnerability & Strength
Alt-pop singer-songwriter Emily Parish released her new single, When Did The Guilt Get To You? following her debut album ‘How I Feel Now’, a synth pop track full with haunting melancholic vocals and a punchy bass progression. Parish‘ unique style of making music is very influenced by UK synth pop, and has repetitive sequences that allow for a down-tempo contrast to the vocal range that she can achieve. This adds to the narrative of When Did The Guilt Get To You?, a song that places her simultaneously in a position of vulnerability and one of strength, in that she has freed herself from the lies that she has had to tell herself when the façade comes down.
Having spent a minute with Emily, following is a transcript of that correspondence.
Your music embodies your emotions, how did you get so attuned to music as a language?
For me, I think of music as an extension of someone & their emotions. I find it really difficult to write music that doesn’t have some sort of emotional journey, even if it’s not mine, as it seems to flow much more easily in the writing and production stages. It’s almost like a little piece of you going out into the universe that other people can tune in to. I guess this is why creating emotional music can be so daunting – you are showing the world a side of yourself that might not always have been on display, or that only surfaces from time to time. I usually find that I am much happier with the outcome of a song if I have an emotional attachment to it, although I am working on songs that express more joy!
You’ve been a musician since you were 7. How did you get into music, and how did you become a commercial artist?
My introduction to music was through school and family. My sister is a very talented musician and I took the lead from her, although we focus on different genres and styles now. From the age of 7 I began learning a couple of instruments such as the violin and got involved in lots of school groups for music. This was a great part of my childhood and adolescence, and while it wasn’t deemed very ‘cool’ at the time I am so grateful to my parents keeping me going, as it’s given me a real appreciation for a variety of genres and instruments (even if the violin wasn’t my calling).
I began to take music more seriously when I got to university and I gradually realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life. However, lots of things have diverted my attention – mostly trying to figure out uni life – and so I guess that it’s only in the last 3 years that I’ve taken myself seriously. I’m definitely still learning, and there’s no official guidebook to becoming a singer-songwriter, but I am really proud of what I’ve created and achieve so far, and I can’t wait to build on that.
Your music has a unique flavor, blends of synth-pop. What would you say some of your musical influences are?
I would say that my influences change almost daily, especially with all the incredible new music coming out. However, some artists that I have loved and really listened to to improve on my writing and in production are: iiola, Mahalia, ELIZA, Billie Marten and Raveena to just name a few. I’ve really noticed a significant shift in how many more female artists I listen to now since I properly began song writing and this is something that I think has helped me to become a more confident female musician and creator. You’ve had an album and an EP release so far. When do you plan to release another collection of music, a la How I feel? I’m hoping to release another single and EP before August this year, but they’re in the very early stages at the moment – as in, only one song written so far! I’m looking forward to trying out a couple of different styles, with a combination of more synth & alt-pop, but also more folk styles.
It’s been a rough time for indie musicians. What would you say is your best advice for aspiring artists like yourself in keeping yourself on your toes?
Yes! It’s been really tough. I’m one of the lucky ones to have remained financial stable by other means, but I know that this is not the case for many others. I think it’s important to try and have a balance of keeping going through periods of low motivation and creativity, but also remembering to be kind to yourself and take breaks when you need. It’s not always about ‘the grind’ and taking the time to heal and rest can never be undervalued. To try and attempt to keep myself organised, I do like to create lots of lists and maybe just focus on a couple of things to get done a day when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Having to work through the pandemic as a performer, how do you cope with being an indoors musician?
This year has been really hit and miss for performing for me. I wish I did more live gigs, however I think I’ve actually used this time to progress with all the background things you have to do as an independent musician, such as writing, press releases, social media, website updates, press releases and contacting reviewers and music blogs. There’s always so much to do, but I can’t wait to get back to live performances – I definitely need a good practice!
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Part-time writer but full-time music enthusiast, I write some of the features on here. I think appreciating a multitude of genres and styles makes me good at my job, so clicky here to see what I've written!