Emma Kay is an electronic indie singer based in Cornwall. Her music combines a mixture of dark undertones, exquisite - almost ghostly vocals and in her new single, a collection of different sound effects which have been used to create a backing for the song. Her debut single, titled Lost In Darkness, was released on October 30th. Emma told me it was inspired by, “the idea of a dystopian future and the influence of technology in our lives” and the track gives off an eerie yet familiar feel on a first listen.
This inspiration is evident from the first second and really helps to get the message of the song across to the listener. Bird song and other natural tones mean that the track has a calm feel to it at the beginning. The mysterious and ominous feel slowly edges its way in and makes the listener think twice about what they’re hearing. Dystopian aspects of the song become more evident when the technological sound effects come in, drowning out the nature featured at the beginning as well as the natural noises of the world we can hear. The way these effects have been used to aid the tune of the song is genius and really fits with the theme of the track. When combined with the title, Lost In Darkness gives the listener a clear idea of the meaning behind the song.
The influence of modern technology on the single itself is apparent from the beginning, with the noise of technology taking over the natural sounds of birds we hear at the start. The brilliance of the way this was done means that anyone listening is focussing on the way that everyday sounds have been used in such a creative way, making the vocals almost a surprise to hear when they come in. Emma’s voice fits extremely well with the song, her vocals sitting over the top of the backing in a naturally effortless way. By having two different strands of vocals present in the song, Emma has given the listener a lot more to think about with her lyrics and added another dimension to her track. The combination of these two sets of lyrics is really effective.
Two minutes in, the pace of the single picks up slightly, more drums coming in and speeding the backing up. It retains some of the calm feelings it had at the beginning but the sounds of nature have now been completely replaced by more electronic sounds. Lyrics such as “don’t know what’s real and what’s not” give the song a darker tone and make it obvious that the single is highlighting some of the issues with modern technology. The dark mood that this creates gives a different meaning to the title and the digital effects on some of the vocals. Amazing harmonies support this further and help to demonstrate Emma’s talent. The strength of her voice is perfectly suited to this song, making the track a pleasure to listen to, even with the message it is conveying.
The digital effects on her voice at the end of the song give one final link back to the dystopian and technological inspiration which makes everyone listening compare the highly digital ending of the song to the calm, natural start of the single. This rounds off the journey of the influence of modern technology well and leaves the listener thinking about it before they inevitably listen again!
If you haven't heard Emma’s new single Lost In Darkness, make sure to go check it out on Spotify! Don’t forget to follow her on social media too to make sure you don’t miss out on future music!
Check out the single here!
Words by Chloe Pollard.