No Man has been released today as the second single from Outlier, the forthcoming new album by Austin, Texas based singer-songwriter and acclaimed guitarist Emily Wolfe. She explains that “it was originally written as more of a blues song, but eventually became a mixture of classic rock and electronic music. It starts out with this sort of Nine Inch Nails attitude and industrial groove, then kicks into a classic fuzzy riff.”
As for the song’s forthright lyrical sentiment, Wolfe states that “I wrote it out of rage and anger. It came from a time when there were some men in my life who dismissed my ability and hard work. I kept pushing for their approval but never got it. Hearing opinion after opinion from them sent me into a headspace of wanting to be totally independent from a feeling of oppression and the song just popped out. The chorus came first, which is literally ‘I don’t need no man’. The rest kind of filled itself in as this really raw, simple but important lyrical message. The main thing I want people to take away from No Man is a feeling of independence, especially for women. I want it to remind anyone who is feeling oppressed that there is power in independence.”
The song’s message is enhanced by subtle details in Wolfe‘s guitar playing, as she points out that “the riff is descending, but at every stopping point on the pentatonic scale, it goes up. It’s a nod to my feeling as a woman amongst the men I mentioned. Going down this path of oppression, coming up for air every now and then, but ultimately descending into anger.”
Wolfe recently performed a live version of No Man at an event for the launch of her signature model Epiphone Sheraton Stealth guitar. It was recorded and filmed at the Gibson showroom in Austin and can be seen here.
The ten new songs contained on Outlier explore Wolfe‘s diverse song writing and guitar playing skills. Produced and co-written by Michael Shuman of Queens Of The Stone Age and Mini Mansions, the album finds Wolfe upending the conventions of multiple musical genres, resulting in a sound that is wildly unpredictable but immediately magnetic.
OUTLIER – OVERVIEW
The second album by Emily Wolfe, Outlier is built on exquisite tension: an endless push-and-pull between desire and resistance, determination and self-sabotage, the instinctive need to belong and the urge to strike out on one’s own.
For help in channeling that complexity of feeling, the Austin-based singer-songwriter and guitarist explored and obliterated the boundaries of rock-and-roll and modern pop, mining equal inspiration from the likes of Judas Priest and Ariana Grande in her bold but masterful genre-bending. After completing basic tracking for the songs, Wolfe and Shuman layered on new and unexpected textures with the help of programmed drums and beautifully warped synth tones. “Before this album, my approach was to know exactly what I was going to do when I went into the studio, but this time I wanted to leave room for a lot of creativity and weirdness,” says Wolfe. “In a way it felt like jumping into the unknown with a blindfold on, but I just trusted that the risk would pay off.” This shift in approach has essentially reshaped her identity as an artist.
“Making this record aligned with my journey as a person, and helped me grow into someone who no longer sees things in black and white,” she continues. “It taught me that I don’t have to try to fit into one box. I can take the energy of rock and blues, which is very on-the-fly and spontaneous and raw, and blend that with the polish of pop music, where everything is much more intentional. I feel like I’m a totally different musician now than I was five years ago, like I’ve grown into myself. I’m finally able to show people who I am and not be afraid of it.”