Brooklyn-based singer Emily Reo released her compelling new 10″ single today through Orchid Tapes. Self-produced and recorded with a 9-piece ensemble helmed by Owen Pallet, the release features the beguiling “Spell” and b-side, revealed today, “Stronger Swimmer.” Despite her enchanting vocals that swim over beautiful orchestration, the song has a dark underbelly. Reo explains:
“I wrote Stronger Swimmer after reading a short story about a woman who was in an abusive relationship. In the story, her and her partner were canoeing when their boat capsized — he didn’t know how to swim but she was a great swimmer and she decided to leave him behind. Something about that imagery stuck with me, imagining her being in cold water at dusk and having to suddenly make the decision to save herself (in multiple ways). I feel like that would be one of the most complicated and complex struggles you could go through, and it can even be taken as a powerful metaphor for allowing yourself freedom from all kinds of toxic or harmful relationships. With this song I tried to express the complexities of self-care in the face of love, guilt and abuse, and because of that I ended up with something incredibly layered and intricate. Stronger Swimmer is organized chaos — it’s about taking all of the overwhelming turmoil in your life and transforming it into a source of personal power.”
The very limited vinyl release is available for purchase here. Listen below.