Coronavirus gave the world lemons and one producer-DJ, Gareth Emery, decided to make lemonade. The trance veteran released ‘Elise’, which he feels is the best track on his forthcoming album, and the story behind making the video that almost wasn’t created, amid locked-down Los Angeles.
The video, released on Friday, opens with “based on a true story,” soft piano notes, and lyrics about California, where the British expat lives. Footage of L.A. pre-pandemic rolls as Emery is shown driving and receiving texts from his wife Kat with reports on the COVID-19 spread. The angelic vocals and classic Gareth Emery sound draw a deep contrast with the sad streets of empty L.A.
As the song’s momentum builds, dozens of signs from businesses on their COVID-19 closures flash. Scenes from around the world, at airports and in hospitals, depict the intensifying outbreak. Everyone wears masks. Emery is shown cutting his business trip short and having difficulty, like thousands of others, catching a flight home.
At the last lyrics of the track—“just let me get back home tonight, and we’ll all be alright, for forever”—Emery’s plane is seen taking off. That’s not the end, though, and here’s a spoiler alert.
While the ending piano notes play, a calendar flashes to around mid-May. A smiling business owner flips a sign from “closed” to “open.” Emery’s phone displays a story with the headline, “Gareth Emery sells out album tour as dance music fans flock to re-opened venues.” People are seen packing festivals and another story headline states, “Coronavirus vaccine enters mass production.” The video ends with the words, “We’ll Be OK,” Emery’s play on his recent single ‘You’ll Be OK,’ and a message he has pushed throughout the pandemic.
The Story Behind ‘Elise’
In an Instagram post on Friday, Emery shared that he had “planned going big with the [sic] vid—had a decent budget, big crew booked.” However, coronavirus shut down L.A. and those plans. Emery said he decided to use empty L.A. as the backdrop, “taking our biggest problem and making it an advantage.” He used a two-person crew, iPhones and watched Final Cut Pro tutorials for two weeks and edited the video himself.
“The result?” Emery wrote. “A video that gives me hope. And I hope it gives you hope, too.”
‘Elise’ is named after Emery’s youngest daughter. On Instagram last week, Emery explained that it took him almost three years to name a track after her “because I was waiting for a track beautiful enough.” Emery named his 2016 instrumental track ‘Sansa‘ after his oldest daughter. More lyrical ‘Elise’ is certainly is a lovely tune that conveys a journey as his previous album closers have.
“I think the tracks I’ve ended albums with have been pretty decent. Sansa (100 Reasons To Live) Long Way Home (Drive) All Is Now (Northern Lights),” Emery continued. “And Elise continues in that tradition.”
Emery’s album The Lasers is due out in July. Watch ‘Elise’ below.