Michigan-based singer-songwriter Emma Guzman entrances with gorgeous introspection in her latest single, ‘Clean’. Her bittersweet blend of indie-pop and folk is utterly sublime and full of feeling, her voice melts like butter over sometimes sombre, ever thoughtful words. Guzman’s song is a journey in self-discovery and self-love. The stripped-back piano ballad is moving in its simplicity, placing all focus on the singer’s ethereal and deeply contemplative vocals. Her words weave a tale of heartbreak, loss, and the lessons learned after love is gone. There is a seamless flow to the lyrical endeavour and Guzman’s chorus sounds like the sun breaking through clouds when she sings, “When I say I miss you, I only miss the feeling”.
There is a melodic simplicity to ‘Clean’ and Guzman’s lyrics are as bold and poetic as they are honest and sincere. Her words feel straight from the heart. This is most evident when she sings, “I could be anyone, there’s not much here to see. I think it would be better if this had less to do with me, letting go of things I tried so hard to keep.”
The prolific songwriter was described by the Detroit Metro Times as a “songwriting prodigy” and she certainly shows off flourishing prowess in this latest track. Guzman’s vocals are accompanied by a seemingly effortless piano melody performed by Greg Beyer. The wholesome sound of the keys ring out gently and follow Guzman’s voice like a loyal friend through every ebb and flow. Steve Lahan’s bass and Steve Stetson’s drums show perfect restraint and let the song build slowly and serenely to a steady, subdued crescendo.
Guzman’s influences are deeply felt in her new heartfelt track. She notes being inspired by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Phoebe Bridgers, Jason Isbell and the Magnetic Fields. But her brand of melody and lyricism is just as inspiring. ‘Clean’ will move and touch your heart – it’s a simple and subtle kind of sonic heaven.
‘Clean’ is available on all streaming services on July 9, with a lyric video debuting on July 16 on Guzman’s Youtube Channel.