Emily Blue’s upcoming singles “17 / Heartland” are a unique mix of hair metal and contemporary pop. The two singles showcase Blue’s powerful, dynamic vocals as well as producer Max Perenchio’s virtuosic guitar playing. Blue takes us back to her roots in the lyrics, painting a vivid picture of midwestern adolescence and big city dreams. In both tracks, the singer describes the tension between her devotion to artistry and the desire for a familiar, comfortable life.
In “17,” Blue sounds like a mix of Heart and Lana del Rey, while “Heartland” takes us back to classics like John Mellencamp and an early Taylor Swift. Both tracks are tied together with a Mitski-esque garage-rock grit and passionate vocal. Visually, “17” reveals Blue’s vulnerability like never before. The baseball fields, farms, and small houses make for a nostalgic backdrop behind a high-energy performance. Shot by Morgan Paije and Matt Bordman, “17” encapsulates the beauty and tragedy of a midwestern upbringing.
Hi Emily, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Been swell, thank you! Working a ton, getting ready for tour (starting the 18th), and working on a lot of new music.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “17”?
17 is a Lana Del Rey / 80s glam rock inspired pop track produced by my friend Max Perenchio. We filmed the video in multiple rural areas south of Chicago. I was really excited to stretch my vocal capability with this one and get some good belting in there.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I guess I just wanted to encapsulate a feeling of romance and nostalgia. I drew a lot of inspiration aesthetically from my midwestern upbringing– I grew up by a literal cornfield and had a lot of formative experiences surrounded by farmland, moody season changes, and gorgeous landscapes. Fell in and out of love, went to school, and became a woman all in the same place. I wanted to write about how time passes, how that feels.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Super fun! My friends Morgan Paije and Matt Bordman filmed and we all came up with locations / performance ideas together. I wanted some classic Americana imagery (hence the motorcycles) as well as high-energy performance shots. I thrashed around at a baseball diamond, swam in a local pond (the cops came). All around teen delinquent style activities.
How was the recording and writing process?
Always a blast. Max and I have a good flow. Sometimes we argue about musical choices but this one was pretty damn straightforward, we were especially stoked about the key change mid-song.
What role does Chicago play in your music?
I have a love/hate relationship with Chicago. I love the people, I love the venues, I love the summer, I love being an artist here. The only things I miss really are the relaxation of a smaller town, the feeling of quiet and solitude. I am always rushing around here. I try to take a lot of baths and watch a lot of movies when I need time away from my workaholism.
How has Lana Del Rey influenced your writing?
i’m really inspired by Lana Del Rey‘s textures in the recording studio, she has so much emotion in her work and pulls from classic aesthetics like early americana and The 1960s. her work is just beautiful and I wanted to incorporate that melancholy, nostalgic aspect into my music.
Coming off a double single release – are they somewhat connected or are they standalone tracks?
I’ll be releasing Heartland when the timing is right. It’s the follow-up to 17, and they go together intentionally.
Would this serve as a sneak peek into a full album?
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
no comment 😉
Any plans to hit the road?
On tour raising money for Planned Parenthood November 18-25! We have a custom merch line and everything, going towards the organization. Hitting the East Coast and Canada.
What else is happening next in Emily Blue’s world?
Bops, bangers, and battle star galactica.