Emma-Jean Thackray Announces Debut Album Yellow

Bandleader, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer, Emma-Jean Thackray is today revealing her new single, ‘Say Something’, the first track to be lifted from her new album Yellow, which is out on July 2 via her own label Movementt. ‘Say Something’ begins with a chord progression on the Rhodes and a shuffling hi-hat, before Thackray brings in her powerful vocal as an entreaty to empty vessels, a plea for people to talk with meaning, not just volume.

Emma on the single and album: “It’s a record about togetherness, the oneness of all things in the universe, showing love and kindness, human connection. I approached the record by trying to simulate a life-changing psychedelic experience, an hour where we see behind the curtain to a hidden dimension, where the physical realm melts away and we finally see that we are all one.”

The video for ‘Say Something’ has been directed by Avesta Keshtmand and will be the first to be released as part of Crack Magazine and its production company Ground Work’s Three Minutes series. The video was inspired by Emma’s love of dystopian science fiction, drawing on themes from Logan’s Run with its indoor, superficial world and an outdoor, wild and natural world that the protagonist escapes to.

The new album by Emma-Jean Thackray feels exactly like the sort of thing we’ve been longing for over the last 12 months: a transcendent, human, shared experience. Across its 14 tracks, Yellow draws glowing lines between ‘70s jazz fusion and P-Funk, the cosmic invocations of Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane and the gorgeous orchestration of the Beach Boys. Her 2020 EPs Um Yang 음 양 and Rain Dance marked Thackray out as standard-bearer of a spiritually-minded, dancefloor-angled take on jazz that stood at a slight remove from the broader UK scene. But Yellow feels like a further step into a fresh and distinct space; its 14 tracks bloom with brass and strings, choral segments and ecstatic chants.

Alongside working on her own music, Emma has proven to be a very in-demand artist these last 12 months, providing brass on the forthcoming Squid debut Bright Green Field and for London wordsmith Pinty’s radio hit ‘Comfort Me’. Emma was also part of the Blue Note RE:imagined album alongside: Shabaka Hutchings, Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia, Jorja Smith and more. You can also catch Emma over on Worldwide FM where she hosts a monthly show.