From “Evan Hansen” to “Maybe We’re Electric”: New Songs and Book from Jersey City’s Val Emmich | Testa

Val Emmich, who has entertained Jersey audiences for two decades, has yet to find a creative outlet in which he doesn’t excel.

He has appeared in movies, television, and commercials, including recurring characters in HBO’s “Ugly Betty” and “Vinyl”. And while singer-songwriter Emmich has released 10 albums and almost as many EPs, the Jersey City Heights husband and father has found time to publish a touching and well-received novel, “The Reminders,” in 2017. He followed that. a year later writing the novelization of the Broadway hit “Dear Evan Hansen”, which would soon become a major film.

Now, with his latest novel “Maybe We’re Electric” slated for September 21, Emmich is whetting our appetites by releasing a new two-song EP recorded with Jersey Shore singer Allie Moss.

Emmich calls the EP “a companion to the novel” and, in a fan newsletter, said of the book, “It’s kind of a love story. And a New Jersey story. And a Thomas Edison story. And a different sentimental story. And a wow-I-was-so-bad-about-you-and-myself story. ”

The EP features the original composition “Maybe We’re Electric”, sung as a duet by Moss and Emmich, and a cover of the romantic old brown “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”, which dates back to 1909 but was popularized by Doris Day in the 1950s.

Val Emmich’s novel “Maybe We’re Electric” is due out next month.

The lyrics to “Maybe We’re Electric” tells the story of two hurt people who meet, not really trusting each other, but realize that together they could find the spark to overcome their doubts and their apprehensions.

After each taking a verse, laying out their concerns and reservations, Moss and Emmich sing the chorus together: lost all direction / But now that connection / You and me / Maybe we’re electric.

The track might not have the multibillion-dollar Billboard Charts jerk Lady Gaga brought to “The Shallow” in “A Star Is Born,” but then this track required four songwriters and a producer. who had worked with Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Nick Jonas, Robin Thicke and John Legend. Emmich wrote, performed and recorded “Maybe We’re Electric” on his own, with a few additional recordings at the Sonic Architecture & Design studio in Carlstadt.

On the flip side, Emmich reinvents “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”, almost completely rewriting the melody and investing the song’s cheesy “Moon / June / Spoon” lyrics with modern passion and seriousness. Duet again with Allie Moss, the track adds a seductive and jazzy saxophone solo from Steven Kirsty. Honestly, I feel like I’m hearing the song for the first time.

The EP “Maybe We’re Electric” is available for streaming and download at valemmich.bandcamp.com. A personalized, signed copy of the novel can be pre-ordered from Hoboken’s Little City Books (littlecitybooks.com) or ordered from online retailers.

NEW & NOTED

Scary Hours and especially The ’65’s have long been familiar to fans of Hudson music, especially at area clubs like Pet Shop and FM.

Now Ryan Struck and Joe Pugsley of those bands have formed Dread Eyes, which describes itself as “a gritty and powerful pop / rock influenced by punk”.

Eyes of dread

New group Dread Eyes released an eponymous EP.

Their self-titled debut EP, now streaming, features thick, distorted, and loud guitars and gruff vocals, reminiscent of ’90s indie rockers like Dinosaur Jr., Jawbreaker or NJ’s Lifetime. The plaintive vocals of “Do You Really Want to Work This Out” suggest a teenage years steeped in emo bands of the time, and there is certainly a musical kinship with Mint 400 Records label mates, The Clydes.

LIVE MUSIC UPDATE:

Last week, this column looked at the return of live music to Hudson County and the loss of several favorite open mics. Here is some additional information.

The Light Rail Cafe, 237 Randolph Ave., Jersey City, recently hosted its first open mic with the intention of hosting one per month. Check out the group’s Facebook and Instagram pages for more details.

Lot 13, 169 Avenue E, Bayonne, has resumed live music and will feature several Jersey City groups on Friday August 13, with Desir Decir, Slang Terms, Sir Synthesis and Emergencies. Show time is 8 p.m. free entry.

Outlander Art Gallery, 126 Monticello Ave., Jersey City, hosts the “Jazzy City” showcase on Sundays, 4 to 7 p.m. Admission is $ 7, BYOB, with bands and soloists.

Departing from Soles Brewing Co., in Jersey City’s Powerhouse Arts District at 150 Bay St., # 2A, hosts live music. Singer-songwriter Justin Gee to perform on Thursday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m.

The Hutton, 255 Hutton St., Jersey City, picked up the live music. Jersey City Twiddlin ‘Thumbs present a free show on Saturday, August 21 at 9:30 p.m.

The Nimbus Arts Festival at Harborside Campus, 107 Morgan St., Jersey City presents Brooklyn’s Damn Tall Buildings, Jersey City’s world-renowned dobroist and singer Abbie Gardner, and singer-songwriter RC Andres on Saturday August 21 at 7 h. Tickets are available on a sliding scale of $ 5 to $ 15 on Eventbrite.com.

Jim Testa can be reached at [email protected].

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