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Emily Cross of Cross Record has unveiled the third cut from her forthcoming self-titled record, an achingly dark and tender track titled “I Release You.”
“I Release You” is lush: a piano-led ballad aglow with raw, unmixed vocals, creaky acoustic strumming and ominous, lower-octave chord progressions. Cross both lyrically and instrumentally imparts a feeling of loss and transformation: “Why can’t I bring the world with me? / Why do I stay in the lines? / Why am I afraid to leave what defines me?”
“The song is about struggling to let go of an identity you’ve built up around yourself and trying to see a life beyond it,” Cross said of the single in a statement. “It’s also about moving ahead with intuition, even if you have no idea what the ‘right thing to do’ is or means.”
Directed by Cross, the song’s accompanying video finds people dancing meekly and interpretively to the song in living rooms, bedrooms and forests, by creeks and underneath bridges. It’s an earnest visual that evokes the vulnerability of the track itself—bottling up the shyness of shedding your skin and letting go in song.
“I was in a state of utter confusion, but somewhere in myself I saw the path I needed to travel, and I knew that eventually when I arrived back to Earth, I and (we) would grow under the right conditions,” Cross said. “In this video, I was seeking expression of the song through my friends, who hadn’t heard the song yet. Thanks to them, who moved beautifully to it.”
Cross Record is set to arrive Aug. 2 via Ba Da Bing Records. You can revisit the album details and Cross Record’s upcoming North American tour dates here. The locations for the musician’s non-musical Living Funeral dates still have yet to be announced.
Check out the new single and the musician’s 2013 Daytrotter Session below, and revisit our 2015 Cross Record Best of What’s Next feature here.