Last week, when Blue Mountains singer-songwriter Emily Rigz released her latest single Big Scary Mountain, we were immediately on board with her electric folk-rock sounds.
So fresh off the track’s release, we caught up with Rigz to chat about the story behind the single, her evolving sound, and what the future holds.
Fresh off the release of her latest single Big Scary Mountain, we caught up with Blue Mountains-based singer-songwriter Emily Rigz for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
EMILY: Hey! Going good thanks, just chilling out and having a wine.
HAPPY: We’re loving Big Scary Mountain! How does it feel having the track out there in the world?
EMILY: Thanks! Glad you’re loving it! It feels really great to have the track out, we’ve had a really fantastic response so far so all the hard work feels like it’s been worth it.
HAPPY: Could you tell us a bit about the song?
EMILY: I wrote Big Scary Mountain when I was starting to experiment with open tunings on the 12 string last year. I released a track called What’s My Name on my debut album Everything’s a Rhythm last year. That song’s in an open tuning on this beautiful Guild copy 12 string I’ve got. I was doing a bunch of solo gigs at the time but couldn’t justify lugging two guitars out for these short sets, so I just wrote a bunch of songs on the 12 string so I could take it as my main guitar haha!
The song’s about my experience with being in a very toxic religious cult when I was in my early 20’s. That sounds pretty crazy but it’s true. It was a really big thing that impacted my life and took me a long time to recover from. Big Scary Mountain refers to the Bible’s description of Mount Sinai in the old testament. Mount Sinai is described as the ‘mountain of God’ and all the children of Israel were terrified to touch it because it was Gods mountain. I realised that my experience with religion had been like Mount Sinai, just this big terrifying mountain in my life that I thought would kill me. I guess that’s pretty dark and serious even though I try to express this stuff in a powerful/ fun sort of way through my music. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m not a religious person anymore…
HAPPY: How do you view this new material as being different from the music on Everything’s A Rhythm? If at all…
EMILY: Oh yeah, it’s totally different! I’ve actually got a ton of new material for my next album and it’s all a totally different energy to Everything’s A Rhythm. Big Scary Mountain is much more raw and aggressive. Also, this is my first full band project, we recorded it live in the studio as a band. After Everything’s a Rhythm I decided to put a band together so I could achieve this huge live sound I wanted and I’m really happy with where it’s at!
HAPPY: We’re picking up a few different sounds in your music… are there any particular artists you’re drawing inspiration from at the moment?
EMILY: At the moment I’m really inspired by Ani Defranco and Tori Amos. They are both really incredible lyricists and super powerful women in music. I love Tori Amos’s crass, confronting lyrics and Ani’s guitar work and arrangements and badass lyrics. I’ve also been listening to guys like DIG and Snarky Puppy a bit more which is probably creating some funk vibes in my new stuff.
HAPPY: What’s next for Emily Rigz? Any other exciting plans in the works?
EMILY: We’ve got some gigs coming up, 4th of May at Smiths Alternative Bookshop in Canberra with Den Hanrahan then 2nd June at Petersham Bowling Club. We’ve also been invited to do some gigs later in the year supporting Spy V Spy which is really exciting for me. In between gigs, we will be working on recording the full album.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
EMILY: Thanks for having me :)