Emerson Hart Puts out the First Single from Fourth Album
NASHVILLE, TN — Emerson Hart, a well-known songwriter and the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band Tonic, has put out the first single from his upcoming fourth solo album, “I Look For You.” The six songs on the EP “Past Conversations in Future Rooms” are about things that happened in Hart’s past, with the hope that they will help him be more aware in the future. Hart’s songs, both solo and with the band, are known for having lyrics that tell very complicated and personal stories. In the same way, he says that the songs on “Past Conversations in Future Rooms” are a look back at his life, with both regret and hope. Hart says that the songs are six personal stories that he turned into songs. In these songs, he thinks about his life and tries to make sense of it.
A lot of the sounds and instruments in the songs, like synths and guitars, are from the 1980s, when Hart was a teenager. Hart says, “These songs were written and recorded before and during the pandemic, when I think most of us took a hard look at where we were in our lives and where we wanted to go.” Hart has talked openly in the past about how therapy helped him learn more about himself. He thinks that writing songs is a healthy way to relive, analyze, and find new meaning in the events of his life.
“I Look For You,” the first single from the EP, is about losing something or someone so quickly that you can’t figure out why or how it happened. The more time passes, the more one can accept and make peace with the loss. But the memories are still there, and sometimes they come back in a way that makes them feel new and part of the present.
Hart has written many hits over the course of his 25-year career, songs that fans love and quickly become classics. He is the lead singer of the alternative rock band Tonic, which has been nominated for multiple GRAMMY® Awards and has had six Top 10 singles, including “If You Could Only See.” Tonic has toured the world and sold more than 4 million records. Hart also works with Tonic and is part of a project called Ezra Ray Hart with longtime friends Kevin Griffin (Better than Ezra) and Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray). The three people play songs from all three bands’ back catalogs.
Hart has also made a lot of great music on his own. His first EP as a solo artist, Cigarettes & Gasoline, was praised by music critics and led to two Top 20 hits. The next album, Beauty in Disrepair, was a hit with both fans and critics. It was praised by USA Today, Huffington Post, Guitar World, and other publications. After a long tour, Hart worked on his third solo album, 32 Thousand Days, in his Nashville studio. It came out in 2019.
The six songs on this EP, which Whakaio Taahi co-produced, will be put out on Dan Lavery’s label, Vista 22, which Taahi plays in the band Tonic with. The singles’ cover art, which was made in collaboration with Patra Sinner of Vista 22, is a series of moon phases that show how each song’s life lesson and feelings are related to those phases. For example, the waning gibbous moon on the cover of “I Look For You” represents the need to let go of things lost in the past. “This is some of Emerson’s best solo work,” say Lavery and Sinner. It turns out to be darker and more instrumental than expected. As expected, the vocals are strong, haunting, and great.
“Past Conversations in Future Rooms” looks like it will be the next step in Hart’s development as a solo artist, bringing his past into the future and blending old and new sounds. Over the next few months, each of the six songs will come out as a single. Check him out here.