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Emily Rodgers Announces New LP 'I Will Be Gone'

Rodgers also shares 'Down,' the lead single off her upcoming LP.

Emily Rodgers Announces New LP 'I Will Be Gone'

Emily Rodgers shares "Down," the lead single off her upcoming LP I Will Be Gone out March 6th on Kramer's revived label, Shimmy-Disc.

I Will Be Gone, which represents a collaboration between Emily Rodgers, her husband/guitarist Erik Cirelli and legendary producer Kramer, with whom she has worked for over a decade, was written and recorded in just six days. While the title track, "I Will Be Gone," was fully formed before Kramer arrived, the rest of the album was written and recorded in Emily and Erik's attic in Pittsburgh, utilizing lyrics by Emily and music by Erik. In addition to mixing, mastering, and producing the album, Kramer also serves as vocalist, bassist, pianist, and arranger, and the record belies an immediacy that is reflective of the time-limited nature of the recording process. Emily, Erik and Kramer plan to continue to write and record albums in this fashion, once the pandemic has passed and it is possible to be together again.

Emily Rodgers' music has been compared to Mazzy Star, Cat Power, and Songs: Ohia. A native of Indiana, Rodgers has lived in Pittsburgh, PA, since she began writing music in 2003. In addition to her career as a musician, Rodgers holds a graduate degree in literature from Carnegie Mellon University. Rodgers' work is produced by legendary indie producer Kramer, who has praised her music in a number of interviews, calling her "a songwriter in the classic sense of the term." In 2008, Rodgers signed to Misra Records; that same year, she performed at the SXSW music festival. After releasing two albums on Misra, she was signed to Kramer's iconic Shimmy-Disc label in 2020. Rodgers has shared stages with artists including: Magnolia Electric Company, Horse Feathers, Nina Nastasia, and Great Lake Swimmers.

In a world of indie-folk sameness, where epic and bombastic are the rule, Rodgers is deliberate and intense, quiet and bookish. And it's in its very quiet intensity that her music commands a listener's full attention. On paper, Rodgers' music might seem like it would add up to folk or alt-country: a band with guitars, a pedal steel, some fiddles here and there. But on listening, you're as likely to pick up on an undercurrent of shoegaze, chamber pop, even post-rock. The violins oscillate under Rodgers' melodies, more Dirty Three than country, and Rodgers' voice, beautiful and world-weary, echoes.

Rodgers work is mixed, mastered, and produced by legendary producer Kramer, who was responsible for the sounds of first-generation shoegaze and slow-core innovators like Galaxie 500 and Low. It's fair to look her records as a product of Rodgers' unconventional writing -- she's an English professor and looks to literary sources for inspiration -- and Kramer's sonic genius. Low comes to mind as a reference point; so does Tara Jane O'Neil.

Rodgers' songs don't traffic in clichés, and she doesn't overdo it as a lyricist. While she avoids formula as a crutch, she isn't afraid to meditate on a phrase. Song by song, she avoids the temptation to try to cram too many words into a phrase; there's a deliberate confidence in her delivery. Rodgers takes her words seriously, and wants you to, too.

Make no mistake: Emily Rodgers' songs generally aren't happy. But in their contemplative melancholy, there's a thread of fearlessness. Uplift and bombast may be the rage these days, but as Emily Rodgers makes clear, there's something to be said for courage, contemplation and taking the time to let the words set in.

Listen to new single "Down" here.

Photo Credit: Lisa Toboz

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