Since 2015, Charleston, South Carolina, native Emily Curtis has been a local favorite; between a crowd-funded EP, a steady stream of well-received singles, and plenty of live performances, she has made a name for herself locally, and is now picking up steam nationally.
Premiered on American Songwriter, Curtis’ most recent single, “Sandcastles,” is a poetic reflection on the differences between adulthood and childhood, and how we find joy in those stages of life. The song begs the question of whether we measure our joy by success or our success by joy – and what Curtis warns of is the former.
No stranger to collaboration, Curtis has worked with producers including Mario Marchetti, and most recently Micah Nichols, both of whom she cites as personal mentors. Nichols, the touring guitarist for NEEDTOBREATHE, wrote “Sandcastles” with Curtis, tailoring the melody and moody guitar to the singer’s smooth vocals. Delicate and mesmerizing, “Sandcastles” lives up to the lyrical poetry, and paints a clear picture of Curtis reminiscing on her childhood joys.
Following the May release of “Sandcastles,” Curtis’ accompanying music video officially dropped today, June 25th.
The nostalgic and introspective song is illustrated by light, airy, and refreshing visuals, contrasted by intermittently placed home-video-style clips. Charleston beaches, where Curtis grew up building sandcastles and admiring the houses lining the beach, are the backdrop for the video. As she flashes back to childhood, she remembers wondering if those who live in the “sandcastle houses” were happy solely because they had big, beautiful homes – which she has found the answer to in adulthood.
Filmed in a real-life “sandcastle house,” the video brings the meaning of the song to life. The 20 South Battery Mansion, built in 1843, has long been a fixture of high society in Charleston, and represents exactly what Curtis warns herself of, which is happiness determined by status. Seeing everything from the 1920s Renaissance to war, the house serves as a reminder that everything fades with time, regardless of how important we may have thought it to be – which is why, Curtis says, we should be more focused on the “why” of our achievements than just scrambling to the top.
Outside of her work as an artist, Curtis has been dedicating much of her time to creating musical communities within Charleston. Her most recent project, Sisters in Song is focused on uniting a diverse group of local female musicians, with the goal of establishing authentic and empowering relationships. Co-founded with fellow industry professionals, the group creates a space for female musicians to connect – a true testament to Curtis’ kind and giving nature, and proof that her “why” is all about making a positive impact.
“Soulful songs for your soul,” is an enticing tagline, and one that holds true for Emily Curtis; talented, genuine, and compassionate, there’s no doubt that whatever comes next from this artist will indeed touch your soul.