The title of Emily Jane White’s fifth album, “They Moved in Shadow All Together” (out in France & mainland Europe april 29th, 2016, England and North America, june 10th, 2016), is a play on the opening line from Cormac McCarthy’s novel “Outer Dark” which hauntingly depicts a group of uncanny travelers descending a hill in the Appalachian Mountains. Recorded at Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco, CA, and New and Improved studio in Oakland, CA, between December 2013 and September 2015, the 11 songs focus conceptually upon the symptomatology of trauma, a pattern of experiences marked by a fragmentation of the self.
White’s polyvocal arrangements mirror her manifold focus, and are the defining stylistic element of the album. Multi-instrumentalist Shawn Alpay’s bass accompaniment firmly supports White’s steady guitar and piano playing by providing subtle rhythmic movement beneath her overlay. His cello sits closely below and curls around the vocals, lending definition to key dramatic moments, while Nick Ott’s visceral and tom-heavy drumming assertively mark the ebb and flow of each track. White: “I wanted to make an intimate album that had bombastic moments. The bass and drums helped define that. Cello is my instrument of choice when it comes to strings. It’s the instrument most capable of sadness and melancholy. The cello is the veil, the fog, and at times the guiding light – the drums the heart and blood.” White’s vision was aided by mixing engineer Mark Willsher, whose background in classical music and film score engineering complemented her spatial and stylistic sensibilities.