One of dance music’s most celebrated contemporary figures, Avalon Emerson, today shares her crystalline new single “Karaoke Song,” the latest track to be taken from her forthcoming debut album Avalon Emerson & The Charm, due for release on April 28th via Avalon’s new label, Another Dove. Co-produced with avant-pop savant Bullion, “Karaoke Song” reflects on the ethereal nature of intimacy in a dreamy contemplation of connection of time.
On the song, Avalon shares, “Intimacy isn’t just the big ticket vulnerabilities, it’s also the breeze blowing little pieces of leaves and dust between two people that you don’t really notice until they’re gone. Are you still reading that book? Are you going to do anything on your birthday? It’s on a Saturday this year. How’s your dog’s training going? “Karaoke Song” is the wondering and not wondering that fills in the gaps where all those little things used to live.
Avalon Emerson loves dance music, but when the time came to make her long-awaited debut album, she didn’t want to make another dance record. She wanted to make something whose pleasures would last longer than a twirl or two across the dancefloor. The resulting album, Avalon Emerson & The Charm, marks the beginning of an evolution, not an experiment. Raised in Arizona, Emerson found her artistic footing while DJing at raucous Bay Area warehouse parties in the early 2010’s. She moved to Berlin in 2014 and quickly became a regular behind the decks at the city’s famed Berghain. Emerson now stands as one of underground dance music’s revered figures, beloved by fans for her melody-rich, genre-agnostic selections. Her production work employs a similarly free-flowing philosophy; as such, she’s remixed the likes of Slowdive, Robyn, Four Tet, Christine and the Queens, and Octo Octa, among many others.
Created during an extended break from the hectic blur of her life as a touring DJ, the album is an intensely personal—and yes, pop-leaning—statement of intent from an artist who has long looked beyond the club for inspiration. Elements of pop have always been visible in her work, but they’re at the very center of Avalon Emerson & The Charm. Echoing her long standing love of Arthur Russell, Oppenheimer Analysis, Cocteau Twins, The Magnetic Fields and other artists who work on the fringes of pop, the self-titled LP focuses on a new kind of songcraft. Where she once was looking for the perfect beat, she’s now more interested in shaping the contours of a brilliant pop song—and forging a lasting connection with whoever might be listening.
Having spent her entire career working more or less alone, Emerson purposely sought out a small cast of like-minded artists to help bring the album to life. Chief among them was Bullion, who executive produced the record and, most importantly, shares both Emerson’s predilection for shimmering pop melodies and her boundaryless approach to music-making. Working together, they cracked open her head and heart alike, creating a space where she could intimately reflect on the people and places she’s loved and left behind.
While The Charm is still very much Emerson’s vision, it’s something she sees as an ongoing, ever-shifting collaboration. Onstage, it means performing live with her wife Hunter Lombard and life-long friend Keivon Hobeheidar – for now. The Charm has no fixed roster and no fixed rules; it’s a vehicle for expression and connection, with Emerson at the helm. Avalon Emerson & The Charm performed together live for the first time at London’s Shacklewell Arms last week in a tender sold-out show as part of their ‘9 Hot Evenings’ worldwide tour. Full tour dates listed below and tickets for all remaining shows are available here.