Today is the first day of summer, and yet again, we are in the middle of a heatwave.

Brisbane-based Emma Bosworth’s new song, “Summer” was released today, but it is not one of those cheery songs about those lazy, hazy days of summer. It is her tribute to the devastating bushfires that have marked a shift in the public mindset about our summer months.

Emma said she wrote the song in response to the bushfires of the summer of 2019-20.

The now iconic image of the burnt-out Flinders National Park on Kangaroo Island, she says, was her tipping point.

“I’ve been trying to do my best to bring awareness around climate change in various jobs over the years. And I guess that image just made me realise, “its here”.

“I just picked up my guitar and I started writing it. The song came to me, the chord structure, and the beginning of the song, the first verse, it just all came out within seconds. It was like my cry, I suppose, for what was happening to Australia.”

“Summer is not a season anymore. It’s a disaster. It represents to me, fear and discomfort.”

Emma remembers the innocent summers of her childhood when she spent days at the beach. Now, she says, she stays at home.

“Australian’s no longer look forward to Summer, we’re afraid of it. I started writing the song when the bushfires had been burning for a few weeks… we were breathing bushfire smoke and it felt like the whole planet was struggling to breathe, and I felt helpless. I wanted to write something that speaks to the tension we were all feeling, while still trying to hold onto the essence of what a great Summer feels like… it’s important we don’t live in fear, that we celebrate and uphold positive ideas about Summer. I want my kids to be able to enjoy long languid summer days… but also be aware of the changes we are facing due to climate change.” Emma said.

Emma Bosworth’s lyrics are never explicit: people have to find their own meaning in them.

“I feel like I shouldn’t be out there preaching to people … people can connect to the song in their own way.”

Summer was written and recorded in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and new band member Reuben Schafer (The Cairos / Stranger Land). The work started to really take shape during Covid-19 lockdown.

“Reuben and I found ourselves with a whole lot of time on our hands during lockdown in Queensland – we both knew we wanted to make the most of this unique time. Our creative relationship is relatively new. I really love Reuben’s moody style of playing, it’s created a whole new atmospheric range for my style of writing,” Emma said.

It is not new for Emma to explore issues connected to climate change in her music. In 2019 she released the song, “Oh Man”, which had a similar theme.  Nor are her concerns about climate change and the environment confined to her music. Emma continues to work with Green Music Australia. She has stepped down from the CEO role, but is now working on a four-year research project supported by the New South Wales Environment Trust in partnership with Green Music Australia, and Queensland University of Technology exploring solutions to campsite waste at music festivals.

You can listen to Summer at these links: https://gyro.lnk.to/SummerEmmaBosworth and https://soundcloud.com/emma-bosworth/summer

Cover image provided

 

 
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