We already know Emily Weisband writes the kind of pop songs that grab you by the ear right away, reveal intimate details slowly through clever turns of phrase, and leave colorful hooks echoing around your head for days. After all, shes been using that skill to help others tell their stories through song for years she even won a Grammy for it. But after writing for the likes of Camila Cabello, Dan + Shay, BTS with Halsey, Keith Urban, and so many other established stars, Emily is finally making music for herself. Armed with an expressive, candy-coated alto, she combines lyrics that feel lifted from late-night talks about life with compositions that hint at long stretches in front of a piano hunting for the perfect chord to encapsulate a feeling.
When Im writing for others I always ask questions like, 'If you had three minutes onstage and 5,000 people in front of you, how would you want to use that time? says the Nashville-based Weisband. And now that the spotlight is on her? Oh, when Im writing for myself, it's no filter. It's a really fun experience for me because I am kind of a tell-all queen I'm very direct.
That was certainly the impression left by her 2019 debut EP, Identity Crisis, where songs like Naked played like diary confessions that were somehow instantly relatable. And while that set grappled with its titular topic, 2020s Not Afraid to Say Goodbye EP found Emily in a new place: knowing herself, and finding peace with the things (and people) beyond her control. Now shes evolving that idea further with I Call It Being Human. Her latest songs are meant to be a comfort to listeners, to let them know pain can be a source of strength, and that by acknowledging the heavy stuff, together, we can all find our way back home. Emily uses her nearly lifelong study of songwriting to transmit raw emotions that run the gamut, while maintaining her empathy and a searing wit. Meanwhile, modern production flourishes add color and life to a rich base of songs informed by the legends she often looks to for perspectiveEtta, Frank, and Nat, among others.
That search for truth in sound goes back to Emilys childhood in Fredericksburg, Virginia, growing up in a faithful home where unflinchingly honest secular music (The Carpenters, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens) got equal billing to gospel her dad was a singer and guitarist himself. Emily felt musics power and pull from a young age and began writing songs at the age of 11, honing her craft after school. She followed her passion to Nashville to study songwriting at Belmont University, and was such a natural that she signed a publishing deal with THiS Music while still a student. More wins followed: she wrote Same Heart for Urban, Consequences for Cabello, and took home a Grammy in 2017 for Hillary Scott & the Scott Familys Thy Will. With that versatility, it wasnt long before she found a home as an artist at Warner Records.
Not Afraid to Say Goodbye was a growth opportunity for Emily. Shed never planned on taking the spotlight for herself, but that short set proved she could be a star without compromising her bold lyrics and distinctly personal visionthat she could be herself on the world stage. I Call It Being Human delves even deeper into the unique perspective and style Emily has developed over her years as a writer. Across these five songs, she stares down some uncomfortable life momentslost love, interpersonal conflict, emotional spiralsand finds calm amidst the pain.
Deeply relatable and unrepentantly honest, songs like New Salt explore the raw, dizzying feeling of old arguments and relationships boiling back to the surface. It starts quietEmilys voice rising like smoke over the dawn glow of an electric pianobut the more she explores the anxiety of receiving a 2 a.m. call from an ex, the more confidently the song swells. Though the memory hurts, she approaches with strength, magnanimity, and courage. When she arrives at the chorusWhy are you so good/At making me feel so badher voice is towering and resolute, the sound of someone whos been through it all and knows how to push forward.
I Call It Being Human is about these kinds of intimate, imperfect experiences, the struggling and straining to be who we are. If a year of isolation and grief shows us anything, its that people need to connect in this way, to be free to own our pain, and to know that other people are going through similar things, too. Love Too Hard, Loved, and Indie Movie Zoomout Moment all underscore this point. As humans, we all have emotional needs. What would the world look like if we just acknowledged that, and helped each other achieve them, without judgment or fear?
Emily explains that her art has always been about offering that connection to other people. I want my music to mean that my fans can have a safe space to be normal in their weirdness, she says. To know their weirdness is normal. What Emilys music offers to listeners is rare: to know someone out there feels the same way they do. In her songs, youre not alone.