Singer-songwriter Emily Kinney announces her new studio album ‘Oh, Jonathan,’ due out August 24th. A departure from her previous work, ‘Oh, Jonathan’ provides a deeper look into Emily’s psyche and introspective thought processes, with many of the songs written and recorded solo by Emily alongside friend, producer and collaborator Ben Greenspan.
‘Oh, Jonathan’ is a record revolving around an unrequited love for the guitarist in a pop punk band that Kinney once saw on MTV, reveling in a one sided account of a hot-and-cold failed attempt at love. Lead single “Mermaid Song” served as a breakthrough moment for Kinney, opening the floodgates for a wave of inspiration that resulted in her most impressive music to date.
“When I wrote that song, I suddenly felt a lot of freedom,” Kinney recalls. “The synths that you hear became the sonic landscape and starting point for the whole record. I stopped fighting making ‘Oh Jonathan,’ and felt motivated to get it out in the world. I realized I didn’t need anyone’s permission to put out the record or to legitimize my song-writing ability.”
“Boy Band Hero” is an ode to the days Kinney spent growing up in small town America. Directed by Jason Lee Denton, the video is simple with Emily daydreaming of a lost youth. Compiled in a single take, Emily sings the reflective verses alone in her studio, before visual bursts of nostalgia-tinged footage from her Nebraskan childhood appear for the chorus.
On another album highlight “Popsicles,” Kinney pleads for adulthood and stability. “I knew I needed to see my family more. I knew I needed a change of direction with my music and a rest. Time was going by a little too fast.” Musically, the track showcases Kinney’s knack for dynamic minimalism, the sparse instrumentation putting an emphasis on her lyrical storytelling.
Over the years, Kinney has cemented herself as a “double-threat musician you need to know” (Esquire), showcasing her skills as both an actor and songwriter. In acting, Kinney’s transitioned from her young role as Beth Greene on AMC’s hit tv show ‘The Walking Dead,’ where her music and singing were often featured, to more mature roles in shows like ‘Masters of Sex,’ ‘Ten Days in the Valley,‘ and to her current gig as an emotional, tenacious mother of a young girl battling cancer in the upcoming Netflix series ‘Messiah.’