Emmy The Great has announced a new solo album, a love letter to Hong Kong.
‘April / 月音’, her fourth album, will be released on October 9 via Bella Union as her new song ‘Dandelions / Liminal’ is online now.
The songwriter, who returned to her birth city Hong Kong in 2018, last released a solo record in 2017, and since then has been kept busy with her film and television work.
Speaking about her home town, she explains in a lengthy post: “My story begins with the moon. In September 2017, I travelled to Hong Kong from New York, where I’d lived for three years, for the Mid-Autumn festival. I was planning to visit my parents and take some time off to write my fourth album. I arrived in time for the full moon – Chang-E’s moon – at a time of year when the heat breaks and the city seems alive with possibility.
“That Spring, I’d visited China and accidentally become somewhat fluent in Cantonese again, though the goal had been to speak Mandarin. I was there for a music residency, and had expected to feel an instant click. Instead, I realised that Hong Kong had an identity quite separate from the Mainland, and with my mother tongue reinstated, I was beginning to come to terms with that identity being a part of mine. This was tough – I was born in Hong Kong but I’ve always felt complicated about it.”
April/月音, written in HK in late 2017, is linked to the moon, Mid-Autumn, and the search for belonging. Its release was delayed so I could take maternity, and in that time everything changed, especially in HK, the city that gave me everything I have https://t.co/BrCnYsymZH pic.twitter.com/Tn51AXpkFg
— Emmy the Great (@emmy_the_great) July 7, 2020
In less than a week Hong Kong’s atmosphere has changed dramatically since the national security law passed in Beijing and enacted in Hong Kong on July 1.
She concluded: “To witness your birth city in its greatest moment of need is a powerful, humbling event, and I know I watched Hong Kong’s destiny shift into something turbulent and uncertain.
“I’m glad I recorded what I felt there, during a precious, peaceful time, when life was so good that all I had to do was trust the moon. May it be just one small piece of witness among many, and may the voices of Hong Kong never stop speaking, and asking to be heard.”