Full of creative and poetic stories to tell, Colorado-based artist Emily Scott Robinson recently released her concept EP, Built on Bones, on October 28th.
The album is rich with mystical lyrics, enchanting rhythms, and witchy storytelling, perfect for its pre-Halloween release.
Built on Bones is unique not only compared to her own discography, but as a whole. It’s not something you see songwriters doing a lot of. Robinson was motivated to write this project when asked to participate in a theatrical adaptation of Macbeth. She centered the concept of the album around Shakespearean themes, specifically utilizing the witches from Macbeth as inspiration for the songs.
The witches in the context of the tale embody chaos, darkness, and conflict, and Robinson embodies these eerie themes with her theatrical instrumentation and folk-lore sounding lyrics to evoke the spirits of these eternal characters that she brings to life, and does so with the help of fellow vocalists, Alisa Amador and Violet Bell.
The title track opens the project with a foreboding introduction that features a more country-based rhythm paired with ethereal strings and haunting harmonies. The chorus consists of a chant-like dynamic and lyrics delivering messages that underneath most environments, there is a past trail of violence and death. The tune sets the tone for the story and style that drives this project.
Within the EP, Robinson features two reprises of one of her previous singles, “Old Gods,” that showcase her delicate vocalizations, enchanting vibrato, and folkish composition style. The project includes both a theatrical version and a minor reprise that communicates a whole different message due to the subdued key change and slowed performance style. While the story within the song is a nostalgic tale about a past love and how their memory changes over time, the minor reprise darkens the song to create a more morose theme.
“Double Double” has a mellow groove and beckoning melody, and includes wicked lyrics about a sinister recipe for an even more heinous spell. The song’s moody guitar leads and Robinson’s dynamic vocals croon and carry the gloomy lyricism, while hynotic and shadowy layers of guitar and harmony carry this mystical tune.
The songstress’s folk roots are showcased in “Sleep No More,” a mythical and airy tune that primarily showcases the dreamlike vocals that are common in theatrical folk songs. The piece is a spooky composition about a moment of violence in the storyline, and how this gloomy moment haunts the perpetrator through sleepless nights. This song drew its inspiration most directly from the bloodshed in the story of Macbeth.
“Men and Moons” is a peaceful conclusion to the dramatic and fateful musical journey that is Built on Bones. With an uplifting fiddle and warbling vocals, the tune is a hopeful one as Robinson sings of the unpredictable future and the belief that what lies ahead will be more serene than the past. The slow rhythm and comforting bass line help to create the soothing end to the emotional story.
Robinson describes her sound as a mixture that includes bluegrass, country, and contemporary Americana stylings, along with songwriting that calls out to the lost, lonely, and those looking for life. The songstress’ last album, American Siren, further refined her sonic signature, and was her first release on Oh Boy Records.
While based in Colorado, Robinson has traveled extensively around the country touring her past projects, including performing in the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival, where we got to catch up with her earlier this fall.
Built on Bones displays Robinson’s artistic versatility and shares her uniquely creative vision on a classic tale, doing so with masterful vocals and harmonies that steer the EP.
Starting in the new year, Robinson will look to tour this new project around the country, as well as perform at AmericanaFest UK this January.