Emily Afton is a genre bender. Her music is retro-pop sweetness, punctuated with dark rhythmic synths; heartfelt lyrics and a passionate, sultry voice; ethereal beauty that’s survived a gutter or two. Afton pulls these elements together seamlessly, making you somehow believe the road she has just designed on this unique sonic map was here all along.
The Oakland-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist spent 2017 and 2018 traveling the country—including a major tour with Third Eye Blind, plus dates at prominent festivals like SXSW, Viva PHX, and the Treefort and Oakland Music Festivals—in support of her debut full-length album. 2016’s Archetype was described by critics as “so, so perfect (Impose Magazine) "from shimmering and bright, to dark and brooding” (The Bay Bridged); a new sound "from an artist who is clearly on an ascent" (Pure Volume). Tracks from the boundless record soon found themselves featured on TV shows like Riverdale, Stitchers, and Mustangs FC.
Afton’s work as a social justice activist and queer feminist also brought her the distinguished invitation to perform at 2017’s San Francisco Women’s March, in front of over 150,000 people. "I think my role was to say something political, but also to use music and songwriting as a way to transport people out of that harsh reality that a lot of politics keeps us in," she told March on America [https://bit.ly/2DPEdXh], explaining her philosophy on being an artist and performing at the march: Later that year, Afton coincided the release of “Lost”—a anthem for feminine resilience, complete with ass-kicking music video—with International Women’s Day.
After completing a music residency at Zoo Labs in West Oakland, Afton is now putting the finishing touches on her new EP, 'Consideration', due for release in fall 2019. This EP is a diary of the zeitgeist; a layered compilation expressing the multitudes of a queer woman and artist in 2019. New tracks “Sylvia” and “Back in San Francisco” are cinematic in their scope, but intimate in their revelations. Their breadth confirms that Afton has spent the last two years carving yet new roads onto that map of hers. “This is what I want to do with my life,” Afton told The Bay Bridged in 2015. “Create transcendent moments for people through music.” What she has achieved goes far beyond that.
ABOUT “BACK IN SAN FRANCISCO”
“Emily Afton is not in a romantic mood, judging by the lyrics of brand new cut “Back in San Francisco”. Admitting to “wearing my heart on my sleeve”, Afton lays down the line on a failed relationship with some straightforward confessionals, about having a chip on her shoulder and only moving to a new city for her now ex-lover.
The track demonstrates simplicity without being basic. With well-placed call and response vocals, gentle and ambient synths underpinning a playfully punchy beat, and a commanding, husky vocal performance, “Back in San Francisco” is a successful demonstration of what Afton and her backing band do best.
Alongside previous single “Sylvia”, “Back in San Francisco” marks Afton’s comeback following her 2016 debut album Archetype. With catchy, confessional pop like this, the now-signed Oakland singer should be building on past achievements in 2018.”
– Born Music Online
2019: Opened for Third Eye Blind at Robabank Arena. Released cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” on streaming services. Featured on Modern Future’s song “Horoscope.”
2018: Featured on NPR’s ‘The Do List’. Completed the music residency at Zoo Labs. “Sylvia” added to Noon Pacific’s London Mixtape. “Back in San Francisco” featured on ALT105.3’s ‘Soundcheck’ show with Aaron Axelsen.
2017: Performed at Treefort Music Festival in Boise, ID. “Lost” featured on The CW’s Riverdale, season 1 episode 6. “Severing The Knot” featured in a SoulSence commercial. “Archetype” featured on Stitchers, season 3 episode 4. Headlined The Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, CA. Someday” featured on Mustangs FC, season 1 episode 9.
2016: Nominated and won second place as The Deli’s SF Bay Area Best Emerging Artists of 2015. Featured as a SoFarSounds performer. Opened for Peter Frampton at The Mountain Winery (AEG/Goldenvoice). Released ARCHETYPE. Was featured on Milk Crater’s Milk Crate #104 playlist. Featured on Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist. Performed at the San Francisco Women’s March.
2015: Headlined single and video release show at Leo’s Music Club in Oakland. “Words From Your Tongue” song premiere on SF Weekly as part of OIM Records Compilation Vol. 1 coverage. Performed at SoFar Sounds SF alongside The Sam Chase and Third Eye Blind. Opened for Willis Earl Beal at Swedish American Hall in San Francisco, presented by Noise Pop. Embarked on first California tour in support of the single, “Someday”, and served as the touring support for Third Eye Blind in the U.S. south and mid-west.
2014: Toured with Lila Rose and Living Legends. Featured on Scarub’s latest album Want For Nothing on two tracks – “Go” and “Rising Up”. Performed at Oakland Music Festival
2013: Placement of song “My Own One” on Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign video ‘We’re Stronger Together’.
2012: Placement of song “My Own One” on nationally syndicated Nature Valley commercial. Won Oaktown Indie Mayhem People’s Choice Award.