The "First Lady of Queer Country" is releasing the Secret Emchy Society's new album The Chaser on May 15, 2020, just in time for Pride Month. Cindy Emch's music has been covered by No Depression, Huffington Post, Slate, The Stranger, American Roots UK and many more.
For her third album, singer-songwriter-guitarist Cindy Emch again partnered with classic Neko Case guitarist Tolan McNeil as her co-producer and rabble rouser as they explored the musical landscape of David Lynch and Ennio Morricone meeting at high midnight on the wild west coast.
Draping the band’s rowdy Americana twang with a veil of melancholy and mystery - the album's narrative deftly explores the emotional friction between chasing what you love and sometimes… letting it go.
Check out the full album below:
FULL LP: SECRET EMCHY SOCIETY, THE CHASER
DOWNLOAD: MP3 // WAV
STREAM: The Chaser on SoundCloud
RIYL: Orville Peck, Sarah Shook, Buck Owens, Margo Price
Secret Emchy Society Press Quotes
“Equal parts June Carter Cash, Nick Cave and Murder By Death.”
“Imagine Bill Monroe and Sid Vicious having kids together.”
From Under The Basement
“Songs which could be used to score a romantic montage for Bonnie and Clyde.”
Now This Sound Is Brave
“Dark, sexy killing songs, boozy ballads, off-kilter anthems, and country weepers.”
“An open air politely rambunctious lo-fi acoustic affair.”
Secret Emchy Society // The Chaser (May 15, 2020)
Queer country firebrands the Secret Emchy Society have been featured in No Depression, American Roots UK, and Huffington Post, who annointed leader Cindy Emch as the “First Lady of Queer Country.” TheBoot.com called the band “one of the Ten Queer Country Bands for Real Country Music Fans to Listen To.” Emch is also the host of Emchy’s Outlaw Americana on Gimme Country radio and the Editor in Chief of CountryQueer.com, a site devoted to raising LGBTQ visibility in the country community.
With Secret Emchy Society’s third album, The Chaser, singer-songwriter-guitarist Cindy Emch has driven her band off-road into spooky forests, lost highways, and urban adventures. While their songs are still foot stompin’ heart breakin’ Americana music about good friends and hard times, there’s a new country noir texture reminiscent of a Tin Can Forest painting.
“I was sonically inspired by David Lynch’s Bang Bang bar from Twin Peaks,” Emch explains. “If I was playing there - these are the songs I’d sing.” Her vision is realized with co-producer Tolan McNeil (Frog Eyes, Carolyn Mark, Neko Case) on lead guitar, award-winning trans americana singer Mya Byrne on slide guitar and mandolin, Michele Kappel (Kirby Grips) on drums, Hans Winold (Front Junk, Vagabondage) on upright bass and harmonica, and Juno-Nominated singer-songwriter Carolyn Mark on background vocals.
“I started writing songs for this album while we were in the middle or recording Twangsville. I was so inspired working with Tolan and my Canadian band to get that first record in the can that it felt like new songs were just flowing out of me. Most of those got thrown out over the next few years but a few like “Git ‘Er Done”— which chronicles both the craziness of those sessions (Electric Pickle Party anyone?) and the sadness about leaving my musical family— stuck around for sure.”
“So much of the album is coated in a combination of adventure and melancholy, or nostalgia. Most of the songs were written about being on tour in one way or another. That quick “we’re in it together” family vibe that happens on the road. You’re thrown into a super-intense relationship where you’re with folks 24/7, playing your heart out, trying to connect with all of the fans, really just throwing everything you have at it the whole time while you’re also away from your family and the people who keep you grounded… and then all of a sudden you’re just dropping people off at the airport or their house and it’s like “see ya.” Such an emotional minefield to navigate.
“Everything Was Fine” was written after an almost solid 12 weeks on tour going from Oakland to British Columbia to Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland again via a combination of plane and thousands of miles I-5. The entire time different parts of the coast were on fire and from seeing the burning road ditches to using the windshield wipers to deal with ash - it was seriously no joke. I also did most of this driving alone and sometimes those 11 -14 hour road days can really start to do a number on your head. I saw someone drive their car off a mountain, I played for 2 people and for 200 people, and I sent about 2000 surreal “stuck in my head” texts to musician pals that would often just respond with “you’re on tour driving alone again, aren’t you?” This tune is in part about driving through the surreal apocalyptic ashen coastline and watching the sheer devastation - but it’s also about those times when it’s just you and that endless grey ribbon and scouring your own soul for what’s really important and dealing with the feelings of “when the lonely hits your stomach like it’s cheap rotgut wine.”
“Howlin Sober” is a song for all of the artsy weirdos out there that some folks think are just too intense. That describes me, it describes the people I love - we don’t need booze to go howling at the moon - we just need each other.”
“The Chaser” - I chase a lot of things in life. Friends, lovers, dreams, passions… I’m the type of person who is always going to push to try and get it done. And sometimes that can be a bit hard on the heart. This song is for all of those folks out there - myself included - who are burning the candle at every end they can think of just to try and capture a little bit of magic, to try and not lose site of their dreams.”
“Grackle” was the hardest song for me to write of the album. It’s about the end of my first marriage, and walking away because it’s the only way to not lose yourself in a lie. And 20+ years later… still wanting the absolute best for their life - even if you’re not really a part of it anymore. This is a love letter to who we were back then and to the friendship we still have now.”
“Dance Like the World is Ending” - Once in a while you will find a magical bar - where the owner does whiskey shots with you, where the crowd is rough and tumble and yet friendly and loves your music, where the party is as raucous at 11pm as at 4am, where that old couple waltzes to every slow song and the walls have 100 years of stories and history seeping off of them. This is a song about one of those bars - The Buck Inn up in Doyle, CA. It’s a love song to those best dive bars, to those honky tonk crowds, and to the euphoric optimism of slow dancing together to a jukebox at 5am while some sweet angel starts the coffee behind the bar.”
- Cindy Emch
The band's first EP, Feral, was released in 2014. This was followed by the full-length album The Stars Fall Shooting Into Twangsville in 2017, which The Atlanta Auditory Association selected as “one of the 50 best albums of the year.” In 2018 they released Mark's Yard, which Americana UK called “an open air politely rambunctious lo-fi acoustic affair”, and which The Atlanta Auditory Association again selected as “one of the 50 best albums of the year.” They will be touring The Chaser in summer 2020.