Emma Langford’s new single ‘Goodbye Hawaii’ is three and a half whole minutes of sunshine, much like the summer we’ve all been waiting for here in Ireland.
She arrives stumbling through the door from a whirlwind international tour, RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Award clasped in hand, hounded by uproarious cries of critical acclaim for her 2017 debut album ‘Quiet Giant’; Limerick’s Emma Langford has returned with ‘Goodbye Hawaii’, and the highly anticipated taster of her second album oozes summer vibes.
A delight at first glance, the track is a peppy return to the 50’s, replete with dreamy backing vocals, swooning pedal steel and a rhythm section that propels the listener right into the heart of New Orleans. A playful vocal imitation “trumpet solo” sends the listener away smiling a little wider than before.
The song evokes the spirit of a bygone era, but Emma Langford’s unmistakable voice reels it right back into the present moment in Irish music.
‘Goodbye Hawaii’ hits all the right notes for fans of The Divine Comedy, Kate Nash or Cyndi Lauper; Langford’s signature vocal sparkles above a toe-tapping retro-pop bass line, barely masking the biting observational humour within:
“It seems like a sweet song until you listen to the words,” she quips, “It’s about putting on the facade of a perfect relationship. You’re past the honeymoon period, the spark’s gone, and it’s all kind of falling apart – so about two weeks in?”
Accompanied on its release in July by an equally tongue-in-cheek music video filmed at Nenagh Arts Centre, Langford worked with fellow Limerick creative Shane Serrano (The Coronas, Rusangano Family, Hermitage Green) in producing something that matched the tone of the song:
“I want the video to make people laugh, but to have a message – a nod to independent artists that work crazy hours, pulling the strings, doing a lot of work on their own out of sight, while people only see the glamorous exterior.
We’re poking fun at the “what people think you do versus what you really do” meme in the arts.”
‘Goodbye Hawaii’ was produced and mixed by Chris O’Brien and Graham Murphy at The Production Suite Dublin, and features Davey Long on drums; Peter Hanagan on double bass; Emma Langford on guitar and vocals; and Kealan Kenny on pedal steel.
The track lands worldwide on the 6th of July 2019, but Emma will officially launch the good ship ‘Goodbye Hawaii’ with a full band at her homecoming marquee show “Limerick Summer Music” at Rossbrien Pavilion on the 12th of July.
You can also catch Emma and band in July at Garbos, Castlebar on the 6th, the inaugural Claremorris Folk Festival in Mayo the 20th, and Knockanstockan the 21st, plus in August at Flahives Bar, Ballyheigue, County Kerry.
Full dates, details and tickets available from www.emmalangfordmusic.com/tour/
Photo: Kellyn Bowler for Turf & Grain Magazine, Issue 4