The Austin Music Minute has often used “fiery” to describe the spark emanating from the ever-fabulous Emily Bell. Bell’s sassy jam “Back To The Way I Was” and 2013 album In Technicolor, not to mention her blazing, fearless stage presence, earned her many accolades from fans and music media, plus the “Best New Austin Act” award in the 2014 Austin Music Awards. All of this set the way for very busy times ahead with new projects in the works.
However, life’s many unexpected turns change things dramatically. This was the case for Bell and her life partner, co-writer and producer John Evans. Evans’ daughter, Abigail, unexpectedly passed away in her sleep at the age of 20, after a life-long battle with a rare skin disease, epidermolysis bullosa. The loss left Evans and Bell completely devastated.
“It was almost as if we had to relearn every basic function,” Bell said. “And it was hard, because, especially in the beginning, every step forward felt like a step further away from her. She was gone and nothing else in the world mattered. The world just needed to stop. But it didn’t. It simply changed everything. Nothing was the same. I’m not the same.”
It would be a year before Bell would resume her songwriting. But resume, she did, and her first new single reveals an artist determined to keep the fire burning. “Goddess of Destruction” (featured on today’s AMM) is facing the anger after loss, and using that passion to make real changes – burning the land to have new growth.
Bell and her band The Talkbacks kick off a new residency tonight at Stay Gold, 1910 E. Cesar Chavez. They share tonight’s bill with New Braunfels’ gritty Americana band Bird Dog, who start the show at 9 p.m.
Go for it. Recommended.
-Photography by Gypsysun.