Emily Afton, “Archetype” (ft. Lila Rose)

Jessica Ourisman

Bay Area artist Emily Afton has released another single from her LP. “Archetype” takes on personal growth, the kind of inner-change that comes after encountering a soul-shattering loss. In other words, this is a cathartic illustration of the personal evolution that comes following that proverbial “dark night of the soul.” So far? These are all things we love.

Not the difficult bits, of course. But the emotional depth of a person who faces adversity, suffers and grieves… Emily Afton is a girl who experiences life authentically, and then learns from it, grows from it. To us, this sounds like an admirable quality in a kindred soul. (We wish we could be BFF’s with her). Thankfully, though, she’s also an artist and has graced us with the gorgeous artistic representation of what this difficult emotional journey looks and feels like… from the other side. It takes us back to that state of limbo, where the inner-process determines whether or not an emotional defeat will become a “breakdown” or a “breakthrough.” You following?

It’s a vulnerable space; a soulful space. She’s genuinely sharing with us a piece of her soul. The song begins with an urban sounding beat, a nice, dark-sounding synth, and an intial somber tone that sets the mood for this serious song about serious subject matter.

And then she starts singing. And it’s perfect. Jazzy, smokey, rich vocals and a song that reflects, wearily, on the devastating emotional journey that followed loss and that resulted in some form of personal gain and transformation. Gloom-Pop is perhaps the most perfect description of this moody, quasi-dark sound. While the pop vibes reassure us that she is now on the other side, we’re aware that she was once there in the depths of her own dark night. And she kills it with the lyrics.

The pace of the song is so, so perfect. Above all, we need to take in the message that the loss and the hard times are still sad. Yes, she has evolved, overcome, and can look back. That being said, she is still also human enough to mourn for the suffering that she went through. In a way, this is like a love song for her own soul, a pat on the back for every weary soul that has loved and lost. In other words, more than a few of us.

Archetype is set to release later this year. Keep up with Emily Afton here.

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