Written over a two year period, Emily Jane White’s sixth album “Immanent Fire” recognizes our moment at the precipice of species annihilation, as she guides her listener through the feeling of life on a planet at the brink of destruction.
Acknowledging these conditions in which we live, White offers what she has been best suited to on all of her albums : an exploration of the internal world. What is the feeling of life in the capitalocene ? Here, White offers a compassionate but also raw exposure of the anxiety, addiction and depression that have become normative. At the same time, she produces an alternative path : the revaluation of the feminine, the receptive, the vulnerable, the emotional. A turn toward the center, the appreciation and experience of life itself—a practice which has, in our moment of ubiquitous despair, become a form of resistance.
Ten songs present a deepening storm of melody that offers the hopeful ray of Emily’s voice as the waves of rhythm crash and dance around her. Just before—or perhaps after—the despair seems to overwhelm, her vocals open up and bloom like a lens flare, creating an ecstatically painful emotional brilliance that the listener clings onto with pleasure. Her voice is the listener’s guide, a steady and reassuring presence as they march through eerie landscapes, caverns of reverb, church organs and synthetic arpeggios. The occasional samples of birds, insects, and thunder mix with the blend of electronic and acoustic instruments, a subtle reminder of the necessary link between the fate of our ecology and the moral use of technology.
White’s new album juxtaposes a heavy melancholy with an intimate touching lightness through her singular alto voice backed by orchestral percussion, soaring strings, heavy guitars, a choir of voices, and an overall cinematic presentation of dynamic songwriting.