Emily Edrosa Shares a Playlist of Influences on Her New Record “Another Wave Is Coming”
The New Zealand songwriter shares how The Durutti Column and The Sound inspired her new LP, which drops tomorrow.
The past five years in the life of New Zealand–born songwriter Emily Edrosa have been interesting, to say the least—having had her name come up in the U.S.’s Green Card lottery in 2016, Edrosa headed to LA where it quickly became clear that the “Hollywood Dream Trip” alluded to by her Canadian synth heroes Syrinx had little to do with reality as she passed through an impoverished city after performing the game of Russian roulette that is stepping into an LA Metro bus.
To put a positive spin on it, though, the experience has led to some fascinating sounds on her solo recordings. With Another Wave Is Coming serving as her first solo LP and first full-length recordings since leaving her band Street Chant behind in NZ, her sound has evolved into a sort of distorted take on the sunshine-y garage rock championed by her native Kiwis in The Beths, reaching an overcast apotheosis on the album’s latest single, “She Agreed,” which debuted earlier today.
LA wasn’t the only influence on the new record—we asked the songwriter to share a few of the tracks she was listening to when the album came together, citing songs that she borrowed from musically (not to mention song titles she yanked), as well as those that were on her speakers during the writing and recording process. Stream the playlist below, and read on for her commentary.
Tall Dwarfs, “Crush”
I have loved this song for years, and probably listened to it thousands of times. I included it here not as a sonic reference, but I’ve recently realized that the vocal melody at the beginning/end of my song “Springtimes Stranger in a Strange Place” is very similar and perhaps an unconscious reference. Should I give them credit? I think I will. If you haven’t heard this band, I highly recommend them. If you have, check out Alec Bathgate’s (one half of the band) Instagram with a lot of cool photos and stuff from them over the years. Legends.
Bona Dish, “8am”
My old flatmate showed me this band. ’80s songs which sound “shitty” always sound the best. Especially ones like this where the guitar is sparse and the bass is the leader of the song. I attempted to try and make some of my songs like this, and ultimately failed. Too many power chords! Next time, eh.
This Kind of Punishment, “The Sleepwalker”
I couldn’t decide between this song or “In Purgatory” by Nocturnal Projections, which is Peter and Graeme Jefferies from This Kind of Punishment’s previous band. They’re from Tarankai in Aotearoa (New Zealand). I love the spareness and how brutal it is. I guess if I had to commit to why it would be an “influence” I would say that it’s that brutalness in the lyrics which I always appreciate and try and lean toward myself. This whole record is incredible. I love the way they recorded it themselves, so the production is really unique.
Malaria!, “Your Turn to Run”
Great drum sound. Great overdubs. Great lyrics. More of a vibe influence and a song I listened to a lot around the time. I wouldn’t say it’s a direct influence like the other songs—everything you’re listening to influences you.
The Sound, “Heartland”
Ultimate jammer. My friend Thom showed me this years ago and it was the only song I listened to by The Sound for ages, but then I finally got around to listening to this whole record (and their others) and fell in love. The lyrics are so good and it just gets you pumping, you know? This was an influence in the way that on my song “Action” I wanted that kind of break-out feeling. When you feel like you’re gonna break from energy and frustration, but it feels good. I also used the lyrics “No time to walk around, or find a heartland’s sound” as a lil’ ref, meaning I couldn’t really figure out LA much less the heartland of America because I had to work so much. Thank you, capitalism.
The Durutti Column, “Sketch for Summer”
Love this drum machine sound, but the live version with an actual drummer also sounds really good. His guitar textures are so lush and expansive it takes over the whole song, but I love how the bass is almost unnoticeable until you notice and realize how groovy and important it is. No lyrics to fault either!!
I remember I played this song to my friend when she was stoned and she got scared because at the start it sounds like the theme from Psycho or something. I can’t believe this is just them jamming ’cause they had some spare tape left in the studio! I tried to make my drums a lil’ more groovy on this record than previous ones, and ESG is the reason almost all the fills are rack tom based. Groovy, baby.
Syrinx, “Hollywood Dream Trip”
This song was such an influence that I literally named a song after it. Is that allowed? Too late. My friend showed me this song and I listened to it excessively while on the bus for two hours a day to my terrible job in downtown LA. It was really calming—if anyone has been on the LA Metro bus you will know it can be quite chaotic. The title really summed up how I felt moving to LA, and the irony of what the world thinks of LA/Hollywood, but in reality there’s a lot of poverty. I had no idea before I moved there. Hollywood Dream Trip indeed, huh?