"Animus," the title track from folk musician Emma Ayz's forthcoming debut EP, is a sweeping and romantic embrace that details the messiness of understanding oneself. "Loving myself is like running in a maze / But I don’t know / Any other way," she sings in elongated, jazzy sighs, approaching the curiosity of self-discovery the same way she sings about the painful moments. "I want to follow through with you / But maybe I’m not meant to / I’m injured, I can’t speak / My body’s been left to the fleas." It's a kind of dreaminess that recalls the shadowy ballads of Jessica Pratt with the elegance of classic jazz singers like Etta James.
"'Animus' captures me at a time of deep self-exploration by looking for clues and symbols in my dreams," Ayz shares. "It references the Jungian archetype ‘animus,’ or the mediator between the unconscious and the ego. This song is my best attempt at embracing the expanse of possibility that comes with learning to love myself with the conclusion that this process is messy and humbly never-ending."
The single comes with a video directed by Tess Lafia. "We shot this video in Joshua Tree over two nights," Ayz says. "We wanted to link the lyrical and sonic themes in the song (wandering through the mysterious dualistic maze toward self-acceptance, or 'integration with your animus') with the visuals of wandering through the otherworldly yet disorienting beauty that is the desert at night."
Animus is out July 15. Watch the video for the title track below.