What started out as a Bumble connection turned into a formidable band. When former marketing exec Kyle Mortensen swiped right on Emily Rath’s photo, what he ended up with was the lead singer for the band that he didn’t know he was forming. Add former INCUBUS bassist Dirk Lance to the picture and you have the power trio EAST OF JUNEwho are releasing their sixth single “Little Bird” today, September 4, 2020.
A song born out of self-isolation due to the pandemic, “Little Bird” was a unique writing experience for the band. “The song came about during this very strange time in our world and might not have been created otherwise,” says Dirk. “During the first week of quarantine in LA, Kyle decided he better write a simple acoustic song that could easily be recorded and produced given the limitations of everyone being stuck at home. So, he sat outside on his porch and started developing the guitar melody and basic song structure, which led to Emily writing the concept and I shaped the bridge and overall flow and production of the tune.”
A breezy ballad that highlights each of the band members' strengths – from Kyle’s dramatic acoustic guitar to Emily’s soaring and crisp emotive vocals to Dirk’s Zeppelin-esque bass line, "Little Bird" is a testament of the band’s natural chemistry. Written from a parent’s perspective as their child moves out for the first time, the song carries both the nervousness, hope and trust that all will work out well.
“Creatively, I felt a strong connection to my own life writing these lyrics because as an only child I was somewhat of a late bloomer in many ways and felt a little more anxiety about leaving my comfort zone than others my age,” explains Emily about the track. “However, I knew that when I did, I would always have the support and love of my family to carry me regardless of how far away I went. I wanted to show that idea in the song by exploring how hard it can be for not only the child, but the parent too who knows that you can’t truly discover who you were meant to be without taking risks, learning your own lessons and flying away from the nest even when you’re scared.”
Formed in 2018, EAST OF JUNE features bassist Dirk Lance, vocalist Emily Rath and Kyle Mortensen on guitar. Dirk, a founding member of Incubus who co-wrote and performed on the famed rock band’s hit albums, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Make Yourself, and Morning View, was a force behind the group’s biggest songs “Drive,” “Pardon Me,” and “Wish You Were Here.” After leaving Incubus, he spent the last decade on a passion project called Willie’s Nerve Clinic before joining with Kyle to start a songwriting collective. After meeting and working with Emily, the trio decided they had something awesome to share, and it was time to put a name to the collaboration, EAST OF JUNE.
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