Feature Opinion

Introducing EMERGER

Do yourself a favour and get ready because your heart and head are not prepared for EMERGER.

Emma de Goede and Gerrit Matthee met while they were both studying music at UCT (her jazz performance and him classical composition) and after they started writing music together, formed alternative pop outfit EMERGER.

Soon after they were one of three artists to win the Avid & Abbey Road Studios International Song Contest, as judge & producer John Feldmann’s (blink-182, Biffy Clyro, Disturbed, The Used) pick. The winning track? ‘Break & Fall’, produced by one Johnny de Ridder (Fokofpolisiekar, Die Heuwels Fantasties).

It’s a flawless first single that chronicles the push and pull of a relationship in its various stages, a real wearing of one’s lyrical heart on one’s sleeve if you consider the fact that de Goede and Matthee have been in a relationship for close on seven years.

‘Break & Fall’ is one of those soaring pop anthems that plays during the end credits of a Twilight-like tween movie – that good and that memorable.

“They have a great cinematic landscape to their music,” lauded super producer and Goldfinger guitarist, John Feldmann explained. “They have a good image and are a good example of what modern music can be. The producer did a great job on the track. The singer has a great voice and seems like she would be a good front woman.”

Feldmann is spot on. I’ve been struggling to find a decent comparison to accurately detail de Goede’s vocals but that’s because they’ve aren’t many pop vocalists with her kind of timbre. De Goede’s lower tones are more comparable to a husky lounge singer’s while her higher register pierces similar to Hayley Williams’ sans the country twang.

While de Goede holds down the vocal reigns and spearheads your emotional journey, Matthee is the musical alchemist who takes multitasking to a whole new level on their debut, playing guitar, synth, piano, drums, supplying backing vocals and producing all of songs on their debut – save for de Ridder’s work on ‘Break & Fall’.

Their debut album also solidified their relationship with Abbey Road Studio as it was mastered by lauded mastering engineer Christian Wright (Radiohead, Gravity soundtrack, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 soundtracks).

It’s the small touches that really make this album though. Whether it’s the gentle acoustic guitar intro on ‘Prelude For You’, the extra minute-and-a-half trumpet and vocal harmony on ‘Urban Wilderness (Extended)’, or the tempo change midway through instrumental ‘Bloom’ – each note is carefully planned, placed and executed.

As Apple Music’s SA Artist Spotlight for July, they’ve been receiving a great deal of attention over the last month but it’s all duly warranted.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard such thoughtfully crafted new music. Now all I need is for them to start gigging.

Listen to the album on Apple Music.