A talented singer/songwriter with rich musical roots, Conshohocken native Emily Drinker is celebrating the release of her new album, Starting to Feel. Drinker’s impressive vocal harmonies buoy her confessional neo-folk and Americana, which is grounded in honest lyrics that address self-discovery, relationship dynamics and life’s growing pains.
MLT: In the spirit of the album’s lead-off track, “Finish My Sentence,” finish this sentence: Starting to Feel is…
ED: Starting to Feel is about starting to feel myself, getting to know myself, growing up, and learning how to navigate relationships, self-doubt, identity and all that good stuff. My songs are primarily inspired by relationships, both romantic and with myself. Over the years, my music has turned inward, focused more on how I can be the best version of myself while battling things like self-doubt, anxiety and those not-so-fun emotions of early adulthood.
MLT: What was the production process like?
ED: In April of 2019, my band went into the studio in Wyncote and pretty much recorded all seven songs in one day. From there, it took the last few years to go in and finish. I redid some of my vocal takes, we added harmonies, we added percussion. Some of the songs themselves were written 10 years ago.
MLT: Were you tempted to change anything about those songs you wrote a decade ago?
ED: In a lot of ways, I’m a different person now than when the songs were written. But the songs capture how I felt then, and I don’t want to mess with that.
MLT: Tell us about your famous ancestor, Henry Drinker.
ED: He used to host singing parties in his home in Merion. When the von Trapps left Austria, he welcomed them into his Merion home—well before my time.
MLT: Speaking of family trees, how did your grandmother wind up on the cover of your new album?
ED: We came across that photo after she died, and I thought it was just so striking. Once I decided to use that image for the cover, I started to make a lot of connections between her life and some of the soul-searching lyrics throughout the album. My grandmother was a powerful person with a lot of strong convictions that she stood by. I hope to be that way as I work through the stuff in these songs.