by Courtney Murphy
For sophomore Emily Moline, music is not just something you hear on the radio. Music has always been an important part of the singer-songwriter’s life, especially since she learned to play guitar at the age of 12, inspired by her father’s own musical tendencies.
“My family always played and sang songs together,” said Moline, who plays the guitar, piano and harmonica.
Moline’s involvement with music increased during her junior year of high school, when she began publishing her songs through a literary magazine she was a part of.
Although Moline is a sociology major with a minor in women’s and gender studies, she uses music to express herself and causes that are important to her.
“When it comes to songwriting, you have a platform for your voice that gives you a chance to say things you might not express to your friends,” Moline said.
Moline describes her sound as a combination of folk and alternative, but is also inspired by her love of R&B, describing that her music is like “if Beyoncé and Ray Lamontagne had a love child.”
“My music taste is so diverse, I just hear something and I go with it,” Moline said.
Backed by her unique sound, Moline writes honest and simple lyrics that are generally reflective in nature.
“A lot of my songs focus on how broken I am or have been in the past, and then I reassert my value in a way,” Moline said.
Her songs generally focus on themes such as how she and other women are worth loving and how love is possible, Moline said.
“I don’t write a lot of happy songs. If you never acknowledge that you’re feeling low or unhappy you might not be feeling anything,” Moline said about her pledge to honest songwriting.
Moline is most proud of a song she wrote called “Cascading Words,” which expresses hurt that she was feeling in response to being knocked down.
Because of her singing, Moline is a more confident individual—able to speak in front of people without fear, she said.
“[Giving a] presentation doesn’t bother me anymore because I am used to performing,” Moline said.
Although she has not performed any gigs since she has lived in Spokane, Moline has experience as a performer. Throughout her high school years, Moline participated in various talent shows, sang at open mic nights and was a part of many musical theater performances, which gave her the confidence to perform in front of other people and “gave [her] a face in the community,” Moline said.
A few weeks ago, Moline performed a set on Whitworth FM as part of the Friend Jam series, something which she hopes to do more of in the future.
Although Moline will always be involved in music, she intends to pursue a separate career she said.
“I didn’t want to pursue it as a career because it would take some of the fun out of it,” Moline said, because of the stress of having to produce music for people to buy.
“Because it’s something I do on the side, it’s a really good outlet,” Moline said.