ABOUT


About“If you know anything about Emily Merrell, you know she has a lot to say. But when she says it, she’ll express it with just the right amount of passion, beauty, color and artistry. If you don’t know anything about Emily Merrell, you should.” – SLUG Magazine

Emily Merrell’s lush pop fusion is dreamy on the surface, with layers of symbolism and sophistication glimmering below. Music is Emily’s favorite form of storytelling, and she experiences song as a particularly powerful tether between souls.

With this tender mission in mind, Emily seeks to infuse every layer of her artistry with story and meaning, believing that each individual listener will connect with the music in a wholly unique way—maybe within harmony or melody, maybe in a single turn of phrase, or an uninhibited intake of breath, maybe in an overarching storyline. She weaves wonder into every corner, leaving the listener to discover it wherever they happen to begin.

So…where should you begin?

Emily is currently in the process of releasing her third studio album, “The Hallowed Wide.” Two of the twelve total tracks are available for streaming now, while the remaining ten will be released throughout 2022. “The Hallowed Wide” is an enchanted guide through the sacred enigma of intimacy and connection, imagined as a bewitching fog-covered canyon.

Of this new dream pop album, Emily writes, “this project offers a heightened plane on which to explore the unknowable spaces between ourselves and others. Together, we examine sources of disconnect, and commit to braving these weighty expanses. We tease out the expectations, judgements, and selfishness that prevent us from connecting wholly. We learn to see beauty and magic in our fellow beings. And finally, we summon the courage to stretch our hands and hearts across the divide in trust.”

Looking back a little farther, Emily’s sophomore album “Masks” (2020) anchors somewhere between art pop and cinematic jazz fusion (Kate Bush meets Janelle Monae), weaving playful and evocative lyrics through colorful harmonies and energetic grooves. Inspired by Emily’s fascination with our human tendency to pose, posture, and conceal, the project explores themes of disguise and disclosure: “Masks can be calculated or unconscious; liberating or constricting; subversive, strategic, coquettish, coercive, and everything is layered.”

Pursuing a desire to lift this project into a physical space, Emily curated a team of brilliant visual and performance artists to create several mixed-media companion pieces for each song. Emily is particularly thrilled to have each of her pieces brought to life as an adult-coloring-book—manifesting her belief that creativity is paramount for all. “It’s the most joyful thing to demonstrate my values in such a purposeful way, to give my listeners this immersive template to fill with their own creative expression.”

Created in what sometimes feels like another lifetime entirely, Emily’s debut album “Embark” (2012) is a beautiful collection of songs about adventure, beginnings, and movement. These dreamy and dramatic modern-jazz compositions are delivered with equal parts sincerity and polish, and provide a thematic foundation for Emily’s later works. “Embark” is both dark and whimsical—brimming with ethereal color palettes, graceful textures, and wholehearted tenderness. In the spring of 2013, Emily received a prestigious international Downbeat award in the Original Composition category for her piece, “Ondine’s Dance.” Emily was also selected as a winner of the International Jazz Education Network Composition Showcase in 2012 and had the immense pleasure of performing her original composition “Secret,” at the JEN conference in Louisville, Kentucky, accompanied by several members of the outstanding Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra.


Looking for more?

Currently based near Salt Lake City, Utah, Emily finds a labor of love in her original podcast, “Artifice,” wherein she interviews professional artists about the origins and development of their creativity, the logistics of life as an “artpreneur,” and their strategies for blending vulnerability with veneer as they cultivate creative resilience. Emily is also thrilled to be serving as Co-Director of the brand new, Utah-based nonprofit Calliope: Radical Art by Radical Humans—with a mission to make radical, intersectional art regularly available to all Utahns.

Additionally, Emily performs with her original band, and is the lead vocalist and producer/booking agent for the International Artists League affiliate, Diamond Empire Band, with bookings all around the Intermountain West. Emily owns and operates EM Vocal Studio in Lehi, UT, and also teaches Commercial Voice & Performance at Utah Valley University. She takes great pride in building creative confidence and cultivating marketable skills with developing artists of all ages.

Having completed a Master of Music in Jazz Performance from the world-renown University of North Texas, Emily is a well-rounded and confident vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator with extensive skills in theory, improvisation, research, pedagogy, and vocal physiology. Emily lives with her husband Andrew and their greyhound Bear in the home of their dreams, where she loves to challenge her creativity with cooking and design. Emily is known for her extraordinary time management skills, candid professionalism, and immovable desire to empower everyone she meets.


And finally, a perfectly condensed bio for programs and features…

Emily Merrell’s lush pop fusion is dreamy on the surface, with layers of symbolism and sophistication glimmering below. Emily is currently in the process of releasing her third studio album, “The Hallowed Wide.” Two of the twelve total tracks are available for streaming now, while the remaining ten will be released throughout 2022. “The Hallowed Wide” is an enchanted guide through the sacred enigma of intimacy and connection. We enter in mystery. We pass through nightmares and dreams—shedding faults and gathering wisdom along the way—to finally exit in vivid illumination.

Inspired by a fascination with our human tendency to pose, posture, and conceal, Emily’s sophomore album “Masks” (2020) explores themes of disguise and disclosure through jazz-infused, cinematic soundscapes.

Currently based near Salt Lake City, Emily finds a labor of love in her original podcast “Artifice,” and is thrilled to be serving as Co-Director of the brand new, Utah-based nonprofit Calliope: Radical Art by Radical Humans.

Emily performs with her original band, is the lead vocalist and producer for the International Artists League affiliate “Diamond Empire Band”, owns and operates EM Vocal Studio, and teaches Commercial Voice at Utah Valley University.

Just after completing her Master of Music in Jazz Performance from the world-renown University of North Texas, Emily released her debut album “Embark” (2012) earning international recognition for her compositions “Secret” and “Ondine’s Dance.”

Emily loves nothing more than to challenge her creativity, building beauty in the process.

CURRICULUM VITAE >>>

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About

Credit: Jen Palmer – Photography | Heggy Gonzalez – Hair and Makeup


About

Credit: Jen Palmer – Photography | Shawna Turner – Hair, Makeup, and Styling


About

Credit: Jen Palmer – Photography | Heggy Gonzalez – Hair and Makeup


About

Credit: Jen Palmer – Photography | Shawna Turner – Hair, Makeup, and Styling


About

Credit: Jen Palmer – Photography | Shawna Turner – Hair, Makeup, and Styling


About

Credit: Jen Palmer – Photography | Shawna Turner – Hair, Makeup, and Styling