What started as a dream obscured by fear is becoming a reality for emerging songwriter Emily Wood.
Wood, who had long struggled with an anxiety disorder, turned to music to get her through tough times. Now as Emily and the Moon she wants to give back through music of her own.
“This whole album came about from being afraid of things,” Wood says. “I had anxiety. I ended up hospitalized in the end. It was then I realized, if I have these dreams and goals, I am the only one holding myself back. So, I thought of small things I wanted to do, like learn to drive, and take the bus without being terrified.”
This dream has been made possible through the help of an Indiegogo campaign, the support of local talent and Wood’s determination to overcome her fears.
After sharing her music dream on social media, Wood was overwhelmed with support from both the local music community and inspired strangers who contributed financially.
Eventually, Wood came into contact with Dave Swiecicki, band member of Jet Set Satellite, who is producing her EP along with Jason Gordon from Studio 11. Wood says the EP is set to come out June 17.
Swiecicki recalls listening to the original tracks.
“I could hear it going in a certain direction, really trancey with analog program drums and keyboard pads. Very atmospheric. Her storytelling grabbed me,” Swiecicki says.
The album holds promise to be a layered six song repertoire of pop rock with electronic elements.
Wood – who wrote the songs, sings and plays the ukulele – will be accompanied by a host of local musicians, including James Roth of Pushing Daisies, John Huver of The Perms, and local singer/songwriter Keith Macpherson.
“We’re not even using the same drummer or the same bass player in every song, which is cool because every song has it’s own flavour,” Swiecicki says.
Several overarching themes tie the record together, one being lyrical references to the celestial.
“I’ve always loved astronomy,” Wood says. “I used to take my telescope out and sit and watch the stars. The night sky is just so beautiful to me.”
This fascination with the beauty of the unknown almost plays like a metaphor for the core message of the album: hope.
Though there are some darker themes on the record, the songs all have an intentional uplifting quality.
“I used to turn to music. I was so scared of opening up or putting anything of myself out there for fear of being judged,” Wood says. “If you’re going to create, then you have to learn to develop a thick skin. Once I picked up that little ukelele, even though it was tiny and sounded terrible, once I learned four chords I was like, now I can do anything.”
She says she tried to write music similar to the tunes that got her through her scary times because she wants it to be relatable to people.
“I hope I can make something that can help people too.”
Find more information about Emily Wood at emilyandthemoon.com.
Published in Volume 70, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 4, 2016)