She then debuted “Distance” an as yet unreleased song about wanting time alone from the one you at one point couldn’t stand to be without. Borrowing elements from Sir Elton John’s 1974 classic “Benny and The Jets” the ballot had a consistent percussion giving it heart.
But the highlight came when King performed “Down–” a song about a lover toying with King and her unwillingness to let go of a lover dragging her deeper into unhappiness. A red stage light cast a shadow on King, as she closed her eyes and balled her fist out of frustration, mentally and physically going back to the moment when she realized her lover would be the death of her.
In unison, the crowd, grew silent and swayed. One-by-one people who experienced King’s lyrics put their hands over their hearts, as if to ease an old wound King opened.
“You keep pulling me down, down, down, lower than I’ve ever known. Oh, you tease with me a smile, then you leave all alone.”
Unrequited love songs are as old as time, but there’s something different when King sings of them. Maybe it’s the honesty. Maybe it’s the softness in her voice. Or maybe it’s because King fuses together the best of rhythm and blues, pop and folk to create a sound so vulnerable, you don’t even realize how much you’ve yearned for it until you hear it.
King is everything you don’t hear on the radio and yet everything you wish they’d play. Selfishly, I want her to remain our secret. The secret of everyone at Rockwood Music Hall. I don’t want the mainstream to get a hold of her, nor any element that will tarnish her musical purity.
But like I said, she’s a secret that won’t be kept for much longer.
Check out Emily King’s “Down” Below:
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