Esteemed musician Emily Elbert has shared “For Free,” the latest offering from her upcoming album Woven Together, out August 19. A lust-for-life manifesto, the track is about seeking value beyond the material, and wealth beyond money, with sweet harmonies floating over sinuous, folk-funk rhythms.
Elbert expands, “It’s about experiencing joy in simple, innate pleasures; but also a dig at the systems that try to convince us that we’re more ‘consumer’ than spirit or animal.” The track also prominently features the funk-tinged guitar playing of Dylan Day (Amos Lee, Grace Potter, Nick Hakim, Ethan Gruska), a friend of Elbert who played alongside her in Jenny Lewis’ band, and follows the previous single “Not Alone,” for which Elbert shared a live video performance video featuring her tourmate Jacob Collier.
Enchanting and thought-provoking, the project merges swirling, psychedelic soul and folk over ideas of transcendentalism by touching on themes of community, self-inquiry, vulnerability and gratitude. “Making it felt process-oriented and exploratory, without any sense of capitalistic pressure – music for the sake of making something loving and true.” Elbert says. Rooted in curiosity, she says the experience was a holistic one, like hiking up a mountain or tending to a garden.
Growing up on Jimi Hendrix and Joni Mitchell, Elbert has always been drawn to music that has a social or political charge to it. “With reverence, but also a healthy sense of rebellion,” she says. Now, having released several acclaimed albums, Woven Together brings us to the turbulence-free journey from self to universe, threaded together over the course of seven captivating tracks. “One thing that feels central to the whole project (and my being) is the idea that any act can be an act of prayer, pleasure or play,” she says. “It felt that way making this whole album, really – rooted in the Earth, but reaching for the stars.”
Photo Courtesy: Jayden Becker