From northern city Liverpool in England, Clean Cut Kid are slowly growing in the indie pop music scene. Having previously supported big indie bands such as The Kooks, The Killers and Circa Waves, as well as covering 91 shows and 31 different festivals in five different countries in 2016 alone, Clean Cut Kid are a band not to be ignored, with their catchy lyrics and upbeat guitar riffs.
“Emily” is a cheerful indie pop tune with a serious message behind it. Mike Halls, one of the vocalists and the guitarist of the band recounts the narrative behind the song for music review site StereoBoard. “I want to write about things in my life… whether they be sad or joyous. “Emily is about someone very close to us who was suffering from a severe bout of depression. It’s us reaching out and saying, “we know you’re ‘unwell’ here and not just ‘sad’.” The ultimate thing is to take the deepest emotions and work it in to a message that isn’t miserable.
The most incredible characteristic about “Emily” is that it clearly declares that what the protagonist is experiencing isn’t purely just “sadness” or a “fluke”: “feels like sadness I knew, but it’s not sadness at all it’s”, and lines such as “and don’t let anybody tell you it’s a rough patch”. The tracks takes depression completely for what it is, and doesn’t try to make it seem less important than it is, but discusses it in such a raw and pure manner, that the listeners can’t help but sing along to the deeply serious lyrics with a ridiculously good guitar and drum beat. The chorus consists of the band singing “Emily!/There’s a hole in your heart /Where I can see the love’s been leaking/ Coz’ you’ve been freaking out/ And obviously it’s tearing you apart”. The verses describe what Emily’s friends have been trying to do to help her, like talking on the phone when she’s lonely, trying to look her in the eyes when they’re talking to her. Overall, the track is a beautiful tangled blend of singable, danceable, and most importantly memorable lyrics, that tackle everyday and real life situations.
The music video was released on the 10th October 2018, and features Clean Cut Kid and an actress playing Emily. They are all dressed fairly smart, singing to the camera. The video shows the band singing and Emily either holding flowers, looking sad lying down on a couch, sometimes dancing or looking in a mirror. The video is very reminiscent of an 80’s music video, with its fashion, cinematic style and theme.
Release Date: 13th September 2018
Songwriter/s: Ross Higginson, Evelyn Halls & Mike Halls
Album: Painkiller EP (2018)
Genre: Indie alternative rock, Lo-fi pop
Record Label: Babe Magnet, Polydor Records
Music Video Release Date: 10th October 2018
Music Video Director: Jonjo Lowe
Chart Rankings: This song currently has no chart rankings.