Today, the world is more interconnected than it has ever been in its history. Short of cutting all ties to modern technology and becoming a total recluse, there’s no shortage of ways for someone to make contact. There’s no disconnecting from a world that demands continuous availability. Nashville alt-rock duo Homes At Night’s latest single, “Tell Emma,” is about choosing to be incommunicado while you’re not in the right headspace. It’s the other end of ghosting when that person doesn’t see them self as fit to be with them.
The melodic baseline of “Tell Emma” originates with a tight acoustic tablesetter. This is only there to back up the passage of time montage that bandmates Hank Compton and Aksel Coe have put together. It is a ticking clock that leads up to the welcome addition of gravely guitar riffs. These are a wake up call for the groggy aura that is cast over this track. It’s a sharp buzz that’s reminiscent of when the smallest morning noises become jackhammers and grenades in your head.
At the beginning, the duo is reflective about the timeline leading up to this morning haze. The “phone ringing like a migraine” is something that should go away momentarily, but its very presence is a nuisance for what it represents. In this case, it’s someone reaching out to them who they aren’t fully equipped to deal with. “Tell Emma not to call. My head is in a fog,” is the opening salvo of the recluse, followed by the regretful “it’s not her fault” because “I’m too lost to be involved.” It’s very much stuck on their own hang ups with the only solution being to make the world go away.
“Tell Emma” is emo with being needlessly sullen. It comes from a place of uncertainty that clouds how you perceive your place in a prospective relationship. Homes At Night go to the place where retreat is a reflex so as to not feel anything real at all.
Written by Travis Boyer
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