Emma Gale cut her teeth as a covers singer based in Cambridgeshire and moved to Weymouth in Dorset in the early 2000s. Influenced by songwriters like Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Leonard Cohen and Gilbert O’Sullivan, she decided to move away from singing cover songs and learn how to write songs. This opened up the world of songwriting.
Songwriting has introduced Emma to a network of songwriters across the globe and led her to complete a master’s degree in songwriting in 2017. She released her debut single Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say in April 2020.
Emma travels all over the UK to co-write with songwriters and has attended songwriting retreats run by Boo Hewerdine, Chris Difford and other notable songwriting tutors. She is a lyricist above all else and follows a truthful, observational style in her approach to writing.
Emma’s beautifully-crafted self-titled debut album was released in March 2022. The Americana record is both nostalgic and hopeful, with a mixture of upbeat tracks and slowed down ballads.
It was featured as Album of the Week in the likes of Blues and Roots Radio and Fatea Magazine, landed her in the BAM 22 Artists to Watch in 2022 and received airplay across the UK and North America.
In May 2022 Emma released the single “The Great Salt Lake”, created to accompany “The As & Bs of Our Inland Sea” – an ABC book for young readers inspired by the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
The self-composed single is Emma’s first commission and is a collaboration with American children’s author Nicole Anderson. The book, which educates readers about the Great Salt Lake – the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, is brought to life with Emma’s signature stripped-back authenticity and relatable lyrics. The track, aimed at people of all ages, is also accompanied by a peaceful music video with stunning clips of the lake and its wildlife.
Emma says, “The song takes the listener on a journey across the Great Salt Lake, celebrating the diversity and unique beauty of the unappreciated body of water. It also discusses environmental issues and encourages listeners to conserve water. The lake reached an all-time low water level this last year, but it’s not too late to save. If the lake dries up it will have significant implications for the whole world.
“The As & Bs of Our Inland Sea is for early readers, siblings, and parents. On each page, there is a fun activity or a tidbit of history about the Great Salt Lake that is designed to inspire and get families outside and explore the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It was such a joy to create a song, especially for such a lovely children’s book, especially one with such an important message at its core.”
This is not the first time Emma has written sensitivity about environmental issues. Her debut single Let’s See What the Earth has to Say celebrated how nature was able to thrive when humanity retreated indoors during the pandemic.
The Great Salt Lake features Emma on vocals, Chris Pepper on bass, tambourine, dulcitone, acoustic guitar, high strung guitar, electric guitar, harmonium and backing vocals, and Emma’s husband Pete Kirkbride on uke and shaker.
The single was recorded at Chris Pepper’s Saltwell Studio in Cambridgeshire in March 2022, with Emma’s vocals and Pete’s uke parts recorded at home in Weymouth, Dorset.
In August 2022, Emma released the single “In, Out, Up”.
The single marks Emma’s first release in collaboration with American songwriter Natalie Nicole Gilbert, who Emma connected with during an online songwriting retreat over a year earlier. The pair wrote “In, Out, Up” remotely, sending drafts back and forth across the Atlantic until it was perfected.
With a catchy, upbeat sound, leaning more towards country-pop than Emma’s previous indie-folk and Americana style, “In, Out, Up” explores the process of dealing with obstacles that life throws at you, overcoming challenges and stepping outside your comfort zone.
The song’s uplifting message of not giving up when things are challenging, as it will be worth it in the end, is one that is deeply personal to Emma.
The track features Emma Gale’s signature vocals, and Chris Pepper on backing vocals, drums, percussion, bass, organ, piano and guitars.
Emma said: “I hope that everyone who listens to In, Out, Up feels inspired and motivated to handle any challenges they come across, and that it helps them believe in their ability to create the outcome they hope for. When Natalie Nicole and I were writing the song, I knew immediately that it should be my next single because the message is so important to me.
“I wouldn’t have connected with Natalie Nicole if it wasn’t for lockdown, so that’s a really positive thing that came from a tough time and feeds into the message of In, Out, Up. Life isn’t always easy and we all have to face challenges that at the start can seem almost impossible to overcome. But once we are through the other side, the sense of achievement can be so satisfying. I’m a life-long learner and this is how I try to live my life; I’m excited to share this message with the world.”