On her first record (2019’s excellent Rituals) Emily Breeze created her own world. A Lynchian, red lit, smokey jazz bar of a universe full of strange, intoxicating tales, cults and mystery.
If her latest material is anything to go by, she’s kicked open the doors between and crossed over into ours. Not so much a compromise of sound as using her established palatte to reflect on the very real fears, thoughts and actions of artists in our world today.
‘Confessions of an Ageing Party Girl’ like the single ‘Hey Kidz‘ from earlier this year, leans hard into the New York, CBGB Post Punk sounds of the late 70s and early 80s. It’s a perfect vessel that helps cement the comparisons between those times and now. We’re beginning to see the start of an unemployment crisis not seen since then, and the arts are threatened by a very real possibility of extinction.
With that going on all around us, it’s impossible to not take this track, in part, as a salute to fallen comrades. A lament upon the difficult choices of pursuing creative endeavours and “getting a real job” as our Government seem to be putting it. A New Wave grave side vigil.
There’s a wonderful juxtaposition between the dead pan, spoken word verses, with their talk of shirts and ties, fooling potential employers, perhaps even oneself, and the huge Blondie shaped choruses. Debbie Harry excelled in pouring longing, regret and sadness into her voice, but all from a position of strength, Emily Breeze strikes the same balance here.
Instrumentally, the 80s throwback of drum machines, a driving bass line and thin, chorussed guitar further hammer home those comparisons. Whilst lyrically her cries of “The party’s over baby, but I’m never going home” works on both a personal and far more universal level.
“Nothing glitters when you’re gone!” Does she mean the partner referred to in the song, who’s giving up their dreams to pay the rent? Or is it the Arts themselves, hounded out of schools by Tory Austerity and ripped apart by Covid and the laughable supposed support the same Government purports to be gifting?
It’s a second strong single from her upcoming new album, and a record that seems to search for an optimism and push for the sharing of love and joy. It’s weary, but far from giving up. A wonderful reflection of our times indeed.