SOTD #723 – Emily Rodgers
For a writer, the first step in any work is to earn the reader’s trust. Never mind clever wordplay, reliable narrators, action-packed plots, or even correct grammar – inherent in good prose is the promise of discovery. A fact, a feeling, a revelation, anything that the reader didn’t have from the start. We bury the signs in dialogue, in narratives that turn on themselves, in motifs and symbols. Even a play about waiting can lead stubbornly to nowhere and still take us somewhere.
As much as I write and read, I still can’t tell you how Emily Rodgers builds that trust on “No Last Call”. Is it the gentle chords that sway in the breeze, the steel guitars as golden as a field of rapeseed, the hush in the brushed snare? The echoes of the Dirty Three, or Mazzy Star, or Cowboy Junkies? After all, Shimmy Disc mastermind Kramer (who also worked with Galaxie 500 and Low) steered the production, and that care and nuance breathes through every swell of strings. But then there’s her. Everything about her. When she sings, she hides nothing behind flair or style – her voice shines clear like water streaming from the tap. Mages invoke their spells from books and study, and so Rodgers casts hers.
Whatever her secret, Rodgers can draw us into a seven-minute song and bend time before us. The half-hours spin away as I type this. Still entranced, still beguiled, still connected by trust.
Pre-order Emily Rodger’s upcoming LP, Two Years, here. It’ll be out on Misra on June 10th.