Dream Release: “EP” by Emma P

EP Emma P Album Art by Gus Philippas

EP by Emma P was released on all streaming services December 26th, 2020.

I’ve been a music fan since before I could speak or sing. I was raised by music fans who were intent on making sure that the right sounds got to my ears. And it did. I remember being a toddler running around the living room coffee table to “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors, and watching Dad impersonate Elvis Presley whenever he got the urge, which was fairly often. My favorite home videos included those of his Elvis impersonation performances from high school, and the one he pulled out at his and my mom’s wedding. We were a music family without any of us being musicians ourselves. Dad was always photographing musicians out in L.A., attending music festivals like SXSW yearly. When I got older, every bedroom or dorm room of mine had Dad’s Jeff Tweedy or Father John Misty prints lining its walls. My friends did too. Music infiltrated every part of my life.

And as a kid I dreamed that I’d be a musician myself one day, some way somehow. I had a pretty good voice, or at least my parents thought so. In elementary school I made it into the All-County Vocal program, but I was too nervous to perform even in a group setting. So I stuck to singing in the shower. My favorite songs to sing were “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or Elvis’s “In the Ghetto.” I always said that I would perform either of those when I auditioned for American Idol one day. I never have gotten to audition, but I did get to attend a taping in the fourth grade, and left with a sick picture of me, Dad and Paula Abdul… and Zac Efron was in the background (still epic). 

I loved that I shared my initials with Elvis Presley, and I always speculated whether Dad did that on purpose. I don’t think he did, but it fits better into my narrative if he did, so he did. When I learned that little albums were called EPs, I liked my initials even more, and started dreaming about releasing my own little album one day. It was a dream that I never really imagined happening… not unlike my American Idol audition fantasies. It was a dream that remained in the back of my mind when I left for college in a car loaded with guitars, a banjo, a ukulele, and a bunch of other dreams. 

And it stayed there, in the back of my mind, as I joined WFNP as a DJ and later as Music Director. It sat patiently as I went on air playing local artists’ music, as well as Elvis Presley’s. I interviewed artists and dedicated much of my time to advocating for artists who were my friends, people I passed on the way to class. It amazed me that people were writing and releasing little albums that I could then play on air. And they sounded so professional, strong enough to follow Elvis flawlessly over the airwaves. 

So, finally, with my acoustic guitar that spent most of its time collecting dust in my dorm room, I started writing music. Lyrics weren’t too hard for me given that my major is English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Poetry has been my passion since I learned what a limerick was in elementary school. Instead of journaling I would always write little poems in a sketchbook, and then never really think about them again. But I started putting poetry to little tunes that I’d come up with on the guitar. I became obsessed with finger-picking, and instead of really learning how to play guitar, I fixated on creating picking patterns and speak-singing alongside them. My best friend Bridget and I wrote little satirical songs together about New Paltz and fantasized about performing them one day at an open mic; “Open Mic” happened to be the name of our “hit song” that never was. Over my first year and a half of college, I wrote a number of “songs” which were really just musical poems, and I let them sit in the back of my mind alongside my dream. I kept them in my voice memos app and shared them with friends who were always supportive, and fueled a dream that they didn’t even yet know existed.

Then I met Joe in that second year of college, when my secret stash of songs had grown quite large. Joe was the guitarist in his band On Pink, and he would soon become a frequent guest on my FM radio show. On Pink’s songs found their way into nearly every on-air playlist of mine because they were, as cheesy as it sounds, a reminder that rock music wasn’t dead, and that there were contemporary bands for me to run around the living room coffee table to, even if I look a lot less cute doing it now. 

Joe and I started dating about two years ago; he quickly found out about my secret stash of songs and encouraged me to fulfill my dream of writing an EP, before I even told him that the dream existed. 

And so, this summer before Joe transferred officially to SUNY Purchase to pursue a degree in recording, he recorded my songs in my garage in New Paltz, extracting the dream from the back of mind and bringing it to life alongside me. All of a sudden I felt like the rockstar that I had always seen in him and all of my friends, including my housemates whose band Bby Carrots made that garage into a recording space that felt like a true studio. 

Then, in something like a dream I never knew I could have, Joe played a bit of his own electric guitar in my songs, mixed and mastered it all himself, and helped me to turn my secret stash of songs into my very own little album, an EP that I could only ever call “EP.” Now I see EP pop up in my Spotify alongside albums by Elvis Presley, and find its songs in playlists alongside all of the other local artists who I love and admire even more now that I’ve seen what it takes to put something out there (physically and emotionally).

EP by me, Emma P was released December 26th, 2020 and can be found on all streaming platforms. It’s not really running-around-the-coffee-table-material, but I hope that you enjoy it, that you can listen to it and know that it is a true story of a kid’s dream come true. Thank you for listening, because even one person’s support makes me feel as famous as Elvis Presley. 

Here’s the Spotify Link to Listen: https://open.spotify.com/album/2TQZCbrKUW65GQRzvrquoY?si=cFZFCscqTv6u0HN7USIcFw

Happy New Year to all at WFNP, and to all of our station’s listeners. Cheers to making dreams come true in 2021. And Happy Birthday Elvis Presley! (and David Bowie of course).

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