From Lovers to Strangers: EMM’s Bittersweet Ballad


By Veronica Espinal | @_veronica_es


“Anti-pop” pop star EMM reflects on a past young love in her latest single “Strangers,” released on June 11. A self-produced, dreamy, intimate ballad, “Strangers” imagines the way EMM would feel running into her teenage love, and what their reunion as adults would be like. 



Based in Los Angeles, Emma “EMM” Norris is a singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Traverse City, Michigan. EMM’s debut onto the music scene has been a welcome disruption to an industry that is too used to dismissing the voices of female artists. Unapologetically herself, EMM’s expressive artistry is an illustration of her dynamism, and she uses her powerful vocals and abrasive lyrics to redefine what it means to be a woman in music. 

EMM is consistently pushing the boundaries set before her as a female artist, with every piece of work she puts out. She shows off her versatility in her latest single taking on a softer tone, that’s distinct from her edgier songs “Rebecca,” and “Devil in Disguise.”  EMM has shown the musical world that young women in music are not afraid to speak their minds, while taking their craft into their own hands in an industry built against them. 

She’s bold, yet vulnerable, and that’s the very thing that empowers her fans, EMPIRE, to live their authentic truths. 



“Strangers” opens with EMM’s velvety vocals blending together along a light, melancholic melody, as she reminisces on a past memory with her teenage love. “In sunlight we laid on our sides and faced each other/and you swore that you would marry me,” sings EMM, as she remembers the promise between two former lovers. Continuing on in her soulful tone, she wonders about their future as adults–would they go from lovers to strangers? “Someday when we grow up/will you remember our love, you remember our love/Or will I just be a stranger?”

The song illustrates EMM’s elegance, and the balance of classical melodies as she wistfully sings each verse is a nod to her training as a classical musician. There’s something about the feeling one gets when they listen to a song that touches the deepest parts of their soul, almost as if speaking directly to them–“Strangers” is that kind of song. As the chorus progresses, the rawness of EMM’s emotions is felt, and she succeeds in creating a piece of art that can capture the heart of her listeners. 

EMM wrote “Strangers,” ten years ago, after a break-up with someone she saw herself marrying someday, and as she wrote the track, she began to imagine how life would be for them both as adults. “Strangers” is the manifestation of the musings of a teenager on their lost young love,  the twists and turns in both love and life.

The track ends with a bittersweet chant, “I hope you’re happy, happy now/I hope you’re happy, happy now/I hope you’re happy, happy now,” EMM sings to her former lover, the instrumentals fade into a serene tune. 

Stream to EMM’s latest single, “Strangers,” on Spotify. Be sure to keep up with EMM by following her on Twitter and Instagram!

Need another new track to add to your playlists? Check out EnVi’s coverage of Lorde’s new single, “Solar Power.”


Thumbnail courtesy of EMM.