With the rise of hyperpop and the growth of the trip hop and electronic waves of the 90s, it’s easy to overlook when an artist truly deserves the title of experimental. When it comes to Emily Montes (age 5) though, something truly transcendent occurs. SOPHIE, Arca, Aphex Twin, FKA Twigs. They all walked so Emily could sprint into the future of this great experiment we call music. Emily Montes could write ‘800 db cloud,’ but 100 Gecs could never reach the raw emotion of ‘Emily Montes (Breakup).’ With a combination of club beats and Emily’s wilting voice, Emily embodies the voice of Generation Alpha. Really, she’s a movement, the next wave in a musical revolution. Yet she remains shrouded in mystery, with fans only guessing what motivates her genius.
In her self-titled debut album, Emily Montes, Emily brings us into her world. She lives the life of any contemporary 5 year old. She goes outside, she plays Roblox, she gets into vicious twitter fights. But where, then, does this raw creativity come from? There is something gritty, something uniquely dark underlying Emily’s lyricism. Success has clearly registered for her, and she knows her own worth. ‘I’m spitting fire and I got bars, I can rap a thousand words, here to Mars.’ But with every senseless praise, there’s a contrast. ‘I’m losing my mind and I’m going insane, I’m rising to fame from this Tik Tok game.’ There’s something deeper here, something darker. A different story begins to unravel. One of isolation and a slow descent into madness.
We start our story with “Emily montes (Corona is Crazy).” Here, Emily chronicles what seems to be a normal experience with COVID. ‘As I’m laying in my room, Thinking of what to do, This virus is crazy, It’s the end of the world, Boom, boom, boom, blow up.’ Emily reflects the relatable frustration of isolation, the feeling of the world ending around you. But these ideas only accelerate in “Emily montes (Breakup).” ‘Laying in my bed, voices in my head… I’m missing you, I don’t know what to do.’ Emily begins her isolation by rejecting her inner madness, yearning for her old life. But as the album progresses, she gives into it. ‘My rapping is so cool, don’t need to go to school,’ ‘Please take me away, and don’t ask why.’ Emily pleads to an unknown God, a ‘you,’ who she misses and begs to return in several songs. But this isn’t a person she’s addressing, it’s her own sanity. Emily has had a psychotic break. The fame, the isolation, the virus— they’ve destroyed her former self and created this persona of success, thinly veiling the insanity which lurks within. Overcome with a need to become the best rapper of all time and consumed by Roblox, she has become a shell of her former self. In her newest album, Club Emily, the only thing that remains are remixes of her former self. Emily is no longer Emily Montes. She is Club Emily, forever changed. As the ending track of the album solemnly declares, “Emily’s So Crazy Love Her.”