Emma Gale – Let’s See What

Emma Gale

 Emma Gale - Let’s See What The Earth Has To Say

Emma Gale – Let’s See What The Earth Has To Say

 

ARTIST NAME: Emma Gale

 

SONG TITLE: Let’s See What The Earth Has To Say
        
RELEASE DATE: 14th, April 2020

 

GENRE: Alt-Folk

 

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Emma Gale cut her teeth as a cover singer based in Cambridgeshire and moved to Dorset in the early 2000s.   Influenced by songwriters like Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Leonard Cohen, and Gilbert O’Sullivan, she decided to move away from singing cover songs and attended a songwriting retreat at Bath Spa University to learn how to write songs.   This opened up the world of songwriting.
Songwriting has introduced her to a network of songwriters across the globe and led her to complete a master’s degree in songwriting in 2017. Emma released her debut single Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say in April 2020.   The song was written and released within one week of the UK going into lockdown.
Emma travels all over the UK to co-write with songwriters and has attended songwriting retreats run by Boo Hewerdine, Chris Difford, and other notable songwriting tutors. Emma attended Judy Stakee’s ‘It Starts with A Song’ songwriting retreat in March 2020. Judy was the record executive who brought Sheryl Crow and Katy Perry to fame. Unfortunately, her time in Nashville was cut short by the UK lockdown when she had to return home.
Emma says, “I had one of the best weeks of my life, it was amazing. Spending time with like-minded people is always inspiring but we were 45 minutes from Nashville in a small town called Joelton, staying in a ranch, which was absolutely gorgeous. I met some wonderful people out there and will remember them for the rest of my life.   Some of them were like me and relatively new to songwriting while others were professional artists in New York, LA, and Nashville. My husband was supposed to join me out there but because of Coronavirus I had to cut the second week short’.
Emma describes herself as an accidental indie artist.   Her debut single Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say was played all over the world and the accompanying video went viral.   This has led her to start developing her profile as an artist in her own right. In August 2021, Emma recorded at the Abbey Road Studios and played at The Bedford in Balham where the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Paolo Nutini, James Morrison, Jorja Smith, and George Ezra have played.
Her dream is to become a published songwriter writing songs for other artists and as such is undertaking a Ph.D. at Birmingham City University under the supervision of Dr. Simon Barber (Sodajerker) and Dr. Nicholas Gebhardt Professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies.   Emma is researching the Role of the Amateur Songwriter in the Music Industries, which is an ethnographical study, and will research her progress from the amateur to professional songwriting ranks.
Emma put the lockdown to good use, taking advantage of songwriters who were online and attended courses by Pat Pattison, Andrea Stolpe, Garry Burr, and Mary Gauthier.   Emma works with Robin Frederick who is based in Los Angeles and is supporting her with developing her skills for writing for film and TV.
Emma continues to co-write regularly and is completing a production course with PointBlank Music School. Emma is in the process of completing an album of her own songs, working with producer Boo Hewerdine (The Bible & Eddi Reader) and engineer Chris Pepper from Saltwell Studios. The album is a mix of Americana and acoustic songs, which boasts Robbie McIntosh (Pretenders, Paul McCartney, John Mayer) on electric and slide guitar and Melvyn Duffy (First Aid Kit, Squeeze) playing steel guitar. Emma has also been working with Simon Ellis (songwriter, producer, and musical director who has worked with the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Westlife, S Club 7, East 17) and will have a range of contemporary pop demos ready in early 2022.
Emma Gale writes, records, and releases her debut single in lockdown. Dorset singer-songwriter Emma Gale used the COVID-19 lockdown to write and release her debut single, Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say.
Written, composed, produced, and recorded remotely in just one week, the track explores Emma’s take on life in lockdown and our rapidly changing reality.
Emma’s uplifting vocals can be heard on the single, alongside ukulele by Peter Kirkbride and percussion, bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals by Chris Pepper. Chris Pepper produced the track at Saltwell Studio.
Using the crisis to concentrate on creativity, Emma has created a single, which is reflective, soothing, and hopeful. It examines how quickly life can change and how nature is thriving now… humanity has retreated indoors.
Emma said: “It seems that many of us are struggling to adapt to life at home and it makes you realize that despite feeling like we are in complete control of our lives, we’re actually part of something much bigger. This is the sentiment behind, Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say – it’s about all of us surrendering control and realizing we don’t actually need all of the things we once thought we did.
“I never planned to write a song in response to coronavirus, but the time in lockdown has given me the chance to focus on making music, and before I knew it, I had a debut single ready to go. I hope it strikes a chord with people listening from their own homes.”
The single is accompanied by an animated video by Nik Newark, which shows the contrast between life now, and life before lockdown. Emma plans to release her debut album later this year.

 

 

LYRICS:
Let’s See What The Earth Has To Say

 

You spend all your money
To make yourself happy
Material helps everything
Your friends all adore you
Your family are poor
But you’re living your life like a king

 

Then the world stops
For a moment
And you don’t know what to do

 

You’re locked up at home
With the things that you own
Everyone that you know is online
You’re binging on box sets
To help you forget
Your fear and our fragile mankind

 

Then the world stops
For a moment
And you don’t know what to do

 

And it just goes to show
That we don’t know really know
How much changes in one single day
And we don’t really need
What we think that we need
Let’s see what the earth has to say
So you hope and you pray
When the news people say
If the world may get better one day
Though the birds and the bees
They are filling the trees
And the sky’s so much bluer today

 

So the world stopped
For a moment
And you don’t know what to do
And your heart skipped
For a moment
Do you think they will ever pull through?

 

And it just goes to show
That we don’t know really know
How much changes in one single day
And we don’t really need
What we think that we need
Let’s see what the earth has to say
Though the birds and the bees
They are filling the trees
And the sky’s so much bluer today
So if the birds and
Bees are filling the trees
Will we change enough to be safe?
Let’s see what the earth has to say

 

 

Feedback: “Emma Gale wraps the complexities of our time into something simple, plaintive, and poignant. In a world of noise and falsehood, here’s a few moments of gorgeous, truthful clarity.” Davey Ray Moor, Cousteaux.
Weymouth-based Emma Gale has put her time in lockdown to great use. Although she has been a regular on the live circuit in her hometown, this catchy but poignant ditty marks her debut single. If this catches the ears of BBC Radio 2 producers, Let’s See What The Earth Has To Say could be this year’s JCB Song.
I doubt many debut singles were written, composed, recorded, and produced in just one week, let alone from a lockdown situation. Emma Gale did just that for Let’s See What The Earth Has To Say, which is inspired by the current COVID-19 situation that has swept across the world this year. Covering the fragility of human existence, this is a song about surrendering control and realizing maybe we don’t really need what we thought we did. As debuts go this is impressive and bodes well for her first album coming later in the year.

 

Writing: For me, the main consideration is a great lyric. It has to have a well-thought-out lyric. I love words and writing the lyrics for me is my favorite part of the process. It’s like putting a puzzle together.   I do sometimes try to be too clever mind you!   Once I have the lyric in place, then I think about the melody and try to ensure that if I have a verse, pre-chorus, and chorus that each section has its own melody and rhythmic theme.

 

Production: On this particular song, I made a version, which I sent to a producer to produce for me. I wrote and recorded this within a week of lockdown and I wanted the production to reflect the lo-fi sound of lockdown. It’s stripped back and I feel it really suits the style of the song and the times.   My husband Peter Kirkbride played ukulele for this track and Chris Pepper, who produced it for me added additional instruments.

 

Mood: My best mood is when I am excited. I love co-writing and find that when I am excited about a song my energy levels are high and then I tend to write better songs.

 

Teamwork: I have worked with songwriters and musicians from all over the world. I started out as a singer in bands in my hometown, but when I started writing songs I started collaborating with other songwriters and producers. I now write with people from all over the world.

 

Experience: I was five years old when I performed on stage for the first time, I sang in our school play. Since then, I have been performing regularly. I joined a band in my early 20s and have been performing as a singer ever since.   I have been performing for quite a few years now – I am not going to let you work it out ☺. I have only performed my original songs a few times live so I am quite excited about having the opportunity to perform my original songs on a regular basis.

 

Songwriting: I traditionally have written lyrics first, but more recently I have been writing to loops.   I do like to collaborate with people and have tried quite a few ways of writing. If I find that I have writer’s block I try a new approach. There are many tricks and techniques that a songwriter can use to inspire a song.

 

Genres: It’s not something I do much, but I like the idea of experimenting. I guess you could say my songs at the moment are a blend of folk and pop.

 

Inspiration: I cannot say why I got into music – it was having to rather than wanting to. It’s something inside you that if you’ve got it you know what I mean.

 

Vocals: I record my vocals at my home studios with the help of my husband. We have a range of different mics, but we tend to go for the Audio Technica A4040.

 

Software: We mainly use Presonus Studio One Five. This is my husband’s go-to DAW. I do have Logic and I am learning to use Ableton myself currently. I am also doing a production course and learning how to produce my own tracks.  

 

Song: I wrote Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say as a submission for a song in a week group. I had just returned shortly from a songwriting retreat in Nashville.   My husband was supposed to join me in Nashville for the second week, but we were listening to the news and hearing that the borders were closing and so I decided to return on one of the last planes out of there before the borders closed.   The following weekend, feeling extremely inspired, I wrote the song. I had been a little bit lax at writing songs for the group as I had had a busy year and had to really ‘encourage’ myself to write it.   The theme that particular week was ‘One Single Day’.   I didn’t intend to write a coronavirus song, but what inspired me was that in the news, the situation was changing so rapidly, almost by the hour.   I was thinking it’s amazing how things can change quickly over the course of a day or a couple of days. At that time, we were just going into lockdown and everything was so uncertain.     I was thinking about the scenario where we were being asked to stay at home with all our possessions and stay in and watch TV.   I was speaking to friends at the time and many people were saying that it really puts everything into perspective. We were all inside while nature was thriving outside. There are places like India and China that were reporting blue skies for the first time in thirty years.   Deers were inhabiting gardens in towns in Essex. This was pretty much an unprecedented scenario.  
Of course, when you are writing a song with an important message, I feel that it is crucial to get the balance right and the last thing I wanted to do was to come across as being ‘preachy’.   What I wanted to ensure was that the song remained light-hearted and had a meaningful message.     I absolutely feel for those people that have lost family members and it must be devastating for them, so I do not want to belittle the situation at all.   I do, however, believe that for a lot of us, we have been given this time as a gift. It is time for us to reflect and to think about how we want to live our lives in the future.   I believe that we are all part of something bigger and although we feel that we have control over our lives, we actually have very little control in situations like this. Rather like being children. I actually think the childlike quality of the ukulele and use of the vibraphone is what makes it quite a comforting song.
I also feel that the song is relatable and not necessarily about COVID, it can be about any time in your life when you have a big change. For instance, I broke my ankle and I was bedridden for ten weeks and spent a big birthday in bed.
On that day I was rushing to write the song and although I worked out the chords on the ukulele, I didn’t actually have a lot of time to get the song ready for the midnight deadline I was working to.   My husband is a professional guitarist and plays the ukulele really well, so I asked him to record the ukulele part to which I sang to, on my phone.   I remember thinking at the time when the killer line dropped, Let’s See What the Earth Had to Say thinking that I had probably captured something quite special. I don’t normally do this, but the following day I put that version onto Facebook and asked for some feedback. I am still to this day unsure why I did that. I do have quite a few songwriters as friends, and I so was I was probably expecting to get a few comments.   I didn’t expect to get the number of reactions and shares.   We decided we needed to remove the phone copy and create a better version, which we did on that Sunday and the same thing happened, people were starting to share the song wider. I had a friend David who told me that he thought that I had created something special and said that he felt that I should release it. So I asked my friends to stop sharing and that’s when I sent the song to Chris Pepper for producing.    
I knew that being in lockdown I couldn’t get a video recorded so I decided to start looking at using an animation. I have a little bit of experience of producing animations and so I started putting the basic ideas together and had the basic storyline.   I knew that it needed some additional touches, so I spoke to my friend Nik Newark on that Monday and asked him to help me capture the magic of the song. He has produced many great videos and animations, so I knew he was the person to help me.   I guess that I was lucky that we were in lockdown because by that Wednesday I had a fully formed song and video. That’s when I went to Boo Hewerdine who helped me get the rest of the team together and that included Martin Rowsell for the Artwork and Corrie Campbell who helped with the PR.   Boo said that it was quite remarkable that we got it all together so quickly. I do have a day job though, and I am a project manager and very organized so that probably helped!

 

Artist’s Name and Album’s Title: The artist’s name on my album is the name I used before I got married. It is also a family name. Gale was my maternal Grandmother’s maiden name.

 

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