Celebrated contemporary dance artist, Avalon Emerson has announced her new artist project, Avalon Emerson & The Charm with her new song “Sandrail Silhouette.” Co-produced with avant-pop savant Bullion, the track is accompanied by an ethereal dreamscape video via Another Dove—a new label Emerson has launched with long-term affiliate and AD 93 founder Nic Tasker.
Avalon Emerson & The Charm marks the beginning of an evolution, not an experiment. Raised in Arizona, Emerson found her artistic footing while DJing at raucous Bay Area warehouse parties in the early 2010’s. She moved to Berlin in 2014 and quickly became a regular behind the decks at the city’s famed Berghain. Emerson now stands as one of underground dance music’ revered figures. . Having played all around the world, she’s the rare DJ who can move seamlessly between the sweaty confines of clubs like Nowadays and massive festivals like Coachella, Primavera Sound and Glastonbury, beloved by fans for her melody-rich, genre-agnostic selections. Her production work employs a similarly free-flowing philosophy; as such, she’s remixed the likes of Slowdive, Robyn, Four Tet, Christine and the Queens, and Octo Octa, among many others.
Her new musical endeavor, Avalon Emerson & The Charm, is an intensely personal—and yes, pop-leaning—statement of intent from an artist who has long looked beyond the club for inspiration. It’s also the first time that Emerson has put herself, her emotions and, most notably, her voice fully into the spotlight. While The Charm is still very much Emerson’s vision, it’s something she sees as an ongoing, ever-shifting collaboration. Onstage, it means performing live with her wife Hunter Lombard and life-long friend Keivon Hobeheidar – for now. Indeed, The Charm has no fixed roster and no fixed rules; it’s a vehicle for expression and connection, with Emerson at the helm.
Opening this chapter with soft-focus dream-pop track “Sandrail Silhouette,” Avalon explains: “To me this song is about scale. Scales of time and how something that seemed so important and defining a long time ago, might not really matter that much now. And then taking a step back and feeling the smallness of your own lifetime in the shadow of a thousand year old tree. In that way it’s also about the here and now and not sleeping through the erosion of time.”
There’s always been a pop undercurrent to her work, but taking a break from the road provided Emerson with an opportunity to explore it more thoroughly. Her charming cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “Long-Forgotten Fairytale,” which opened her acclaimed 2020 DJ-Kicks mix, provided a preview of that inclination—and also introduced the world to her singing voice—but with Avalon Emerson & The Charm, she has stepped away from the DJ booth altogether, venturing into an intimate garden of wooly synths and personal lyrics informed by her love of avant-pop auteurs. Where she goes next is anyone’s guess, but that uncertainty, and that freedom of vision, is what makes her such a uniquely compelling artist.