Cross Record is the otherworldly project of Austin-based artist Emily Cross, which we deemed a Band To Watch four years ago. Her operation’s self-titled full-length is coming later this summer, and it’s shaping up to be a chameleonic journey. The album’s first single, “PYSOL My Castle,” was lush, dreamy and sort of jazzy. The project’s latest track ventures into starkly darker sonic territory.
“I am a fly/ In an old oil panting/ I am a dog/ In heat, left panting,” Cross sings on “The Fly.” Accented by metallic synths and distant shouts, the song is an eerie, abstract rumination. Cross details her thinking behind the song in a statement:
I was thinking about the fragility of the mind under pressure, being on a brink of collapse and being aware of that, and finding the humor in it objectively. The fly in old oil paintings is a signifier of death and impermanence. The viewer sees all of the perfectly ripe fruits, flowering buds at the height of their glory–but it does all end some day. I suppose it’s a song about brinks or being close to an edge: the edge of a meltdown, the edge between life and death, the moment you think you see something beautiful but it turns out to be a plastic bag, and that’s funny sometimes.
In addition to being a musician, Cross is also an end-of-life doula. During her upcoming tour, interspersed with concert dates, she’s conducting what she calls “Living Funeral Workshops” — three-hour ceremonies that focus on turning towards one’s own mortality. Participants watch their own memorial and are told to write their last words and are lead through a death visualization. If you think you can handle that sort of thing, it may well be worth grabbing a ticket.
Listen to “The Fly,” and check out Cross Record’s full itinerary — musical and non-musical — below.
09/04 – Marfa, TX @ Bar Nadar Pool & Grill
09/05 – Phoenix, AX @ Lunchbox
09/06 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
09/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
09/10 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
09/12 – Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abbey
09/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Moon Palace Books
09/17 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
09/20 – Fishkill, NY @ Likeminds Festival
09/24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Trans-Pecos
09/29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
LIVING FUNERAL WORKSHOP DATES (LOCATIONS TBA):
09/07 – Los Angeles, CA
09/09 – San Francisco, CA
09/13 – Helena, MT
09/14 – Fargo, ND
09/16 – Chicago, IL
09/21 – Fishkill, NY
09/25 – Brooklyn, NY
09/30 – New Orleans, LA
Cross Record is out 8/2 on Ba Da Bing Records. Pre-order it here.