emize – “alone at night”


“alone at night” is a standout single from emize, a Brooklyn-based producer, writer, and singer. The Asian American artist wrote the track in response to escalating anti-Asian hate crimes. “I wrote this coming of age in the pandemic, seeing anti-Asian hate crimes come and go in the news, getting stalked, and seeing my little sister get followed home at night and my brother get mugged,” she says. “This changed my private relationship with music.”

“I felt so powerless when these things happened, so I started imagining what it would look like if people who were assaulted fought back. It also calls out how people who get assaulted are often made responsible. If a woman is followed or assaulted, “what was she wearing?””

Bell-chimes and buzzing nocturnal synths propel a compelling opening. Delicate background piano twinkles and stirring vocal power past the first minute build into a textural expanse thereafter, driving into a suave pop excellence with buzzing synth touches and rhythmic intensity past the two-minute turn. “alone at night” shows a moody and stylish, while strikingly melodic, pop showing from emize — all whilst conveying from-the-heart emotion, conveying rage and grief, in addition to overall concern for the future.

emize says: “This song is for people who have been afraid they wouldn’t get home safe, for the countless people who didn’t, for my parents who worry, for my future daughters, and for my past self.”

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of August 2023’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Pop.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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