As he readies his soon-to-be-announced solo album, Thievery Corporation’s ROB GARZA is releasing the new track “Something That’s Different” featuring rising L.A.-based alternative pop singer EMELINE. Debuting a classical electronic sound in collaboration with the critically-hailed Mercury Soul for their Green Gables video series, this alternate version from the album employs a classical quartet; combining GARZA’s signature electronic sensibilities with achingly beautiful strings and EMELINE’s ethereal vocals.
“With this project, I wanted to explore more pop sensibilities and influences that I had when I was starting to make music, specifically things back from the ’80s and my fascination with new wave music. This project is specifically about opening up myself more to different collaborations and working with different singers,” recalls Garza to BlackBook about the project’s genesis. Introduced to Garza by co-producer friends in celebrated production duo Smle, EMELINE (whose single “flowers & sex” has logged over 5 million Spotify streams and almost 2 million Tik Tok likes) impressed him with her voice and their instant chemistry. “Our first day in the studio, we came up with two songs, one of which is ‘Something That’s Different.'” He adds: “I think when we wrote the line ‘I can’t keep hoping that someday you’ll want something you left behind,’ it was something that both of us could relate to and I think that’s something that can be very personal and at the same time very universal. Thematically, the song insinuates a sort of rebirth and moving on.”
Mercury Soul artistic director and co-founder Mason Bates (composer-in-residence Kennedy Center, former composer-in-residence Chicago Symphony) who arranged the orchestration for the track says, “Rob is one of the few visionary artists whose music can work with classical instruments in concert halls. Thievery Corporation is known for its rich integration of DJs, Latin beats, psychedelic sounds, and live instruments. There’s a straight line running from them to groups such as Pink Floyd, and that ‘huge mix’ sound is great for concert halls.”
Merging classical music and electronica for a new generation, Mercury Soul engages its audience through performances in alternative venues with immersive stagecraft, elaborate production and digital education. Bates tells BlackBook, “Our mission is to pair the deep listening experience of classical music with today’s DJs, electronic artists and multi-genre visionaries.” Mercury Soul: Green Gables is the second installment in their digital mini-series and GARZA’s “Something That’s Different” featuring EMELINE is the first video in that collection.
Shot at the historic estate of Green Gables (built in 1911 by influential Arts & Crafts architects Green & Green in San Francisco), the vibrant video showcases the string quartet consists of Matthew Vincent(violin), Annamarie Arai (violin), Ivo Bokulic (viola) and Byron Hogan (cello). We filmed [the video] right in the middle of Covid restrictions which made it a bit of a challenge,” explains Garza.
Taking a much-needed respite from 26 consecutive years of touring with Thievery Corporation, Rob Garza spent a bulk of the pandemic working on both new solo material for his upcoming album as well as focusing on his label Magnetic Moon which is home for critically-hailed artists ToBy, Racquel Jones. and Forty Feet Tall. Following the success of his 2019 debut EP Where the Moon Hides, Garza released a pair of new singles “Summer Is Ours” in June 2021 and now “Something That’s Different,” marking his first new material since releasing the bossa nova-flavored Riviera Remix of the single “Deep Blue” in 2020. The album version of “Something That’s Different” will be included on GARZA’s next LP when it comes out later this year on Magnetic Moon.
GARZA‘s “Something That’s Different” is released on July 16, 2021 via Mercury Soul.