Emarosa Turn to Pop-Rock on Bright New Album ‘Peach Club’
The Kentucky band, once known for their post-hardcore style, have completely metamorphized into a dance rock act
Everything pointed towards a big yet gradual shift for rock band Emarosa on their sixth album Peach Club. While they’ve always had R&B and pop-tinged hooks in their mostly aggro music, the last couple of albums have pointed towards a different dynamic.
While they once had emo crooner Jonny Craig (formerly of post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance) lead them on early albums, when Bradley Walden took over in 2013 and the band released Versus the following year, Emarosa began transitioning. The fact that the band called on record producer Courtney Ballard (who’s worked with pop artists such as 5 Seconds of Summer to Jessie J) for Peach Club meant Emarosa were reaching back into their roots of Eighties pop and Nineties R&B. Walden, during the recording of the album, said Emarosa could now call themselves “pop gods,” something that’s now their motto/calling card. Walden says over email, “I love it. I came up with it during the album and just thought it was the most confident, boisterous way to say this is who we are now. If you don’t believe yourself to be something, no one else is going to believe it.”
Indeed, Peach Club is a slick, unabashed pop offering that can rule the charts and gain heavy rotation on American mainstream radio stations. Released on February 8th via Hopeless Records, the album has so far climbed to number 20 on the Top Rock Albums chart. It’s got a celebration sound, set over lyrics about love, self-acceptance and more. While it’s rooted in shimmering alternative and pop, there’s still familiar rock elements heard on “Help You Out” and “Hell of It.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone India, Walden talks about how Peach Club took shape and touring.
When Versus came out after a four-year break for Emarosa, you mentioned in interviews that it was a difficult process and also ended up shutting up a lot of naysayers who had written the band off. On this new album, what was the driving force?
The point of Peach Club was to make the album we wanted to make without apologies. Without worrying about the past sound, what was expected or what was wanted from us. The driving force was to steer the ship in the direction we wanted to go moving forward.
Peach Club was written and put together as what you’ve called “an eclectic bunch of songs.” So was it difficult to pick which songs you wanted as singles?
I think it was, there were a lot of options when it came time to try and represent the album individually. Our band is a democracy and ultimately, we ended up with the singles we chose based off of what the majority felt was the right move. I don’t think there would have been a bad choice.
Watch the video for “Givin’ Up”Â
You’ve toured with everyone from Yellowcard to Hands Like Houses. What is it like finding an ideal touring mate right now when Emarosa still has roots in post-hardcore?
We respect our past and appreciate it but that’s not who we are. Moving forward, our touring companions are going to reflect that vibe that we want to cultivate.
Speaking of touring, you guys were in Japan recently. What was that like? Is ‘Big in Japan’ still considered an achievement for bands, especially in the Internet age?
I don’t know the reference but we had an amazing time, it was our first experience. They were kind, humble, grateful and it made us all the more appreciative to be there. I hope we can return soon as it was unbelievable and unforgettable.
Have you ever had any offers to come down to play in India?
We haven’t had the right thing come down the pipe to make it work but we’re all hoping with the rise in popularity of the band as of late that it’ll come through.
What else is coming up through 2019?
It’s about that time to hit the states again, we’ll be touring, releasing visual representation for our music and exploring our options going forward.
Watch the video for “Don’t Cry.” Hear the full album here.