The Indigo Tapes - Chance Emerson '18
Wandering Mind Acoustic Version - Preformed In the Old Chapel By Chance Emerson '18 & Produced By Finn George '17
Landon Smith '18| As they made final edits to their first collaborative EP, The Indigo Tapes, Chance Emerson ’18 and Finn George ’17 dreamed of success. Hong Kong native Emerson and Californian George began working together last fall. With a background in singing and guitar, Emerson provided the vocals, while George, who writes electronic music, handled production. “Both of us,” says George, “were drawn to the idea of doing something with more of a narrative.”
Just a day after its release, on April 1, The Indigo Tapes held the top spot on the singer/songwriter EP category of iTunes. On Spotify, it quickly gained more than 10,000 total streams, with plays from places as
diverse as Sweden, Australia, Brazil, and Vietnam.
The Indigo Tapes is music with a soul. Emerson’s voice is warm and clean, filled with enough grit and imperfection to evoke real emotion. It weaves its way through sharp – yet subtle – guitar riffs and glides over the deep thrum of an acoustic bass, while airy percussion holds the rhythm. Despite the heavy folk and singer/songwriter influences, The Indigo Tapes has an awareness of tension and energy usually exclusive to electronic music. Its production is a testament to balance, with every element given space to breathe. The lyrics are poetic and overflowing with experience. “All the songs,” Emerson explains, “are microcosms of my 17 years of life.”
SPS students fell in love with the EP and rallied behind it, sharing it with friends back home and submitting it to online forums dedicated to promoting the best new music. “It really did bounce across the world because of the community we have here,” says Emerson.
While centered on Emerson and his guitar, the EP involved additional members of the School community.It features Music Department Head Orlando Pandolfi on the marimba and Lia Eggleston ’17 on the cello.
Addie Dahl ’17 provided the album’s cover art, Sheldon Zhao ’17 took a series of headshots for Emerson to use on Spotify, and the first verse of the EP’s opening song, “Wandering Mind” is Emerson’s homage to the Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The Indigo Tapes Album Work Created By Addie Dahl ’17
Although Emerson began playing piano at six, it was only after his tenth birthday, when he got an electric guitar, that he discovered his true affinity for music. After experimenting with thrash metal and jazz, he discovered the work of Ben Howard and John Mayer, and decided to start writing his own songs. Emerson’s father, an accomplished singer, inspired him to sing as he played. George started playing drums as a child,
before moving to guitar and, eventually, electronic production. At home in Los Angeles, he spends his time at a musical collective called the Young Producers Group.
To create The Indigo Tapes, Emerson and George spent months in the cozy studio above the Music Building, meticulously composing each of the EP’s five tracks. Using a dusty blackboard, Emerson spent hours jotting down lyrics. “I would just fill it up with words and pick the ones that meant something,” he recalls. As a testament to their hard work, Emerson and George re-wrote “Wandering Mind” seven times – in seven different tempos and three different keys. Finally satisfied, they sent their work to CDBaby, an online distributor that released it on iTunes and Spotify on March 31.
Although George is heading off to study at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, he and Emerson plan to continue working together, with hopes to release several singles in the near future.