Prologue...This sparkly body of work marks the start of something new for me…

I’ve been truer to myself than I’ve ever been before. Unabashed. Unapologetic. Determined to reclaim and hold dear the parts of myself that arrived with me as a brilliant new little being in this world, but were never cherished or honored as they should have been.

As a child, I spent so much of my time in daydreams. Reading and imagining and wondering at every little thing. This vibrant dream world—buoyed by so many beautiful books and music—kept my internal sense of wonder alive through the trauma and disesteeming of my young years.

Story-weaving through song gave me a safe and somewhat secret space for expressing this inner bigness as I got a bit older. Under the guise of this or that “other” narrative voice, I could explore a life and self I wasn’t brave or safe enough to test in the real world.

And now that my scariest stories are out in the light, I am safe enough. And I’m doing my best to be brave enough to step into a version of myself whose brightest, most essential parts are given the attention and celebration they deserve. This new collection of songs is putting that wonder front and center.

It’s funny though, when I look back at what I’ve created in the past, it’s so clear that these wondrous elements have been there all along—making room for themselves where I wasn’t ready to fully embrace them…

My first record Embark is a collection of songs about adventure, beginnings, and movement (what’s more fantastical than a hero’s journey?). The fantasy—while maybe a bit muted—is tucked all throughout this album. I feel it most in “Missing” (the middle “dream sequence,” in particular), carried by the flute and dancing soli in “Embark,” in the reimagining of an ancient story for “Ariadne,” and with really no disguise at all in “Ondine’s Dance” (hello! Mermaid alert! 🧜‍♀️). And the darker demons are in this world too—in the final chorus of disembodied voices of “in my mind,” in the whimsical complexity and tension of “Secret.”

As much as Masks was meant to be an examination of the starkest truths, I see it giving itself away in the first song, invoking the muse aloud, then calling upon dragons and collapsed kingdoms, in the second. “Unknown” is a venture into the darkest kind of wonderland, and “Villain” is a classic werewolf tale turned on its head like the best modern fantasy, begging us to question the true meaning of monsters.

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s all there. Hardly hidden at all.

But this new project lays wonder out plainly—elevated and enchanted as fantasy is meant to be.

I’m bursting at the seems to share this gorgeous dreamworld with you. If this is a sort of prologue, the first chapter is coming to you very soon…

Stay tuned.

EM