Emily Gold’s May Harvard & Stone Residency, presented by Pizza Party Music, kicks off this week so we decided to sit down with her and talk about it.Last time we checked in, Emily Gold had just released Recluse, her ethereal debut album filled with dreampop and twilight shoegaze. But Emily has grown a lot since then. Fast forward to today, where we find her stepping out of Recluse‘s shimmery, spaced-out universe into heavier, stripped-down psych rock, as well as trying to create a sense of community among female musicians in LA through her Velvet Planet production.
The May residency is being presented by LA-based Pizza Party Music, who has supported Emily in the past by putting on a couple of her shows. The two also threw February’s lovely Galentine’s Day event with Pearl Charles, Iris, Regrettes, and more at local DIY venue The BlindSpot Project. This upcoming residency aims to follow in the same vein, albeit on a larger scale. It also shouldn’t come as surprise that most of the nights feature female-fronted rock bands, something Emily hopes to put on more of in the future.
On one sunny April afternoon, we met up with Emily at her Highland Park studio to get the scoop on her upcoming residency and how she hopes to give back to the LA music community.
So it’s been almost a year since we saw you last.
Yes, at Echo Park Rising! That was really fun at Spacedust, that store’s really cool.
Yea! It’s been cool to see the ways in which the music community has changed since then. It hasn’t grown into one bigger thing, but instead, we’ve seen more and more little networks forming. Like even the way we met originally, was out of one of those pockets. What’s been your experience as a musician in LA?
What I think is really special about LA is that there are really strong communities. As you start to get involved—even going to shows as a music lover—you start to see all the same people at the same shows, and you see who’s playing in what band, and you notice that everyone’s already friends with each other. And everyone is helping each other out. I don’t know how other cities work, but I have a feeling that doesn’t really quite exist in the same way in many other places, like that sense of community and comradery.
There’s a lot of that here in LA, for sure.
It’s also the ambition out here. Everyone’s trying to do something whether it’s to create something new, like a zine or new label, or just to create something cool, whatever it may be. And that’s what’s inspiring.
Totally. Everyone’s trying to find a way to contribute. And I feel that, especially now, nobody’s expecting anything in return.
Everyone for the most part is doing this out of the love of creation and the love of Los Angeles. I feel like everyone feels pretty devoted to this city and making it something cool. And you see new things pop up all the time, like just down the road is the Hi Hat. All these cool bands are rushing in and doing really cool events, and just creating spaces for people. You also have all these collectives popping up, especially female collectives, and they are opening spaces for people to experience art, participate, and feel welcomed.
So tell us how did the residency at Harvard & Stone come about?
Because we did my album release party for Recluse at Harvard & Stone back in October, with Pizza Party Music. And after the show the booker Charlie Clark came up to us and asked us if we wanted a residency. We were like ‘Fuck yea!’ and now it’s happening.
They tend to support a lot of truly independent bands.
Charlie’s really good about that. I’ve discovered bands there that I’ve never heard about because they don’t necessarily have a buzz or whatever. I think they go purely off of that idea ‘We think you rock, so we’ll book you.’ And even so, I’ve never had a bad time there. I love when they do the burlesque show, the old Motown and 50/60s R&B nights, and the rock stuff, too. It’s always just a good time.
Did you have any concepts or themes in mind when you were putting the lineups together?
I’m honestly excited about everyone. There are a couple bands I haven’t heard as much of, like we have Betty Petty and Sister Crowley. And what I’m really excited about is that 99% of the lineup is all female-fronted bands. When I first started playing here, music in LA felt like a bit of a boys club. And now I think there’s been this uprising of women through the collectives and bands, and there’s all this great talent coming from female artists in LA right now. And it’s not that I tried to have only female bands, but just a lot of my favorite bands happen to be female-fronted, so it worked out that I get to support them all. I’m super excited about TV Heads, they just got started last year and they are my favorite fucking band in LA. They are just so good, and such quality musicians. We also have Rachel Fannan’s new band The Bomb playing. And then there’s Gal Pals, Bloody Death Skull, Psychic Love, AKW, and so much more. So yea, it started to become female-fronted just out of the fact that I like these bands, and it turned out that it’s also a good theme.
You’ve been working on new music as well. Can we expect to hear some of the new tunes live next month?
Yes! I’ve been writing a lot. We’re going to be playing a couple new songs at the residency, which we are hoping to record them later this year. The last album was reverb-soaked, dreampop kind of stuff, and lately, I’ve been more inspired by power-pop and Mitski. Not that all the bells and whistles aren’t great, it’s all really fun, but I had recorded that album in the studio before we had played it live. So now, I’m writing songs for the band, for the live experience. It teaches you to write better songs you because you strip them down to their basic elements. Lately, I’ve been trying to write heavier rock songs, you know, strip away the layers. I’m really inspired by music where it’s just a trio—guitar, bass, and drums—and it’s this huge powerful thing with just the basics. We’ll definitely be doing a couple of those at the residency, so look out.
That’ll be exciting.
We’re looking forward to it!
More details below, see ya there!