A glistening yet gritty journey into self-reflection, the brand new single Lonely Lover (out today) is the ultimate indie rock ode to independence and the pursuit of connection from Melbourne singer-songwriter Emma Yue, who will be celebrating the track’s release with a gig at The Gaso Upstairs on March 28.

(STM) First up, can you please give us a quick intro?
Picture this: Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Gracie Abrams all got stuck in an elevator together and one of them conveniently has a guitar handy. If those vibes and songs were smooshed together and channelled into the body of someone else, it would be me. My name’s Emma Yue, I’m based in Naarm (Melbourne) and I have too many emotions that I know what to do with (except write songs that double as slightly cheaper therapy).

Tell us about your new single Lonely Lover?
Have you ever gotten so familiar with a certain feeling you just feel annoyed that you’re still feeling it? That’s me with loneliness. Lonely Lover was born out of frustration with letting my loneliness have a negative influence on my life and was attempt at defiance against that feeling. I really wanted to turn loneliness into something positive and uplifting, and a song that would give me a bit of optimism when it felt overwhelming.

What’s the creative process like for you?
I’m a heavily emotional person (I literally don’t know what to do with all my emotions) so most of my songs come from an emotional place. Almost all of my songs are lyric and story driven, and lyrics are the first part of the song that usually comes to me. When I sit down to write, I usually start with a line or two that I might’ve just come up with or that I’ve written down in my Hook Book notes page of my phone. My Hook Book is for anything I think of when I’m not in a place that I can build on it (often when I’m driving or in the shower which is incredibly inconvenient and not at all conducive to using a phone). From there I just roll with it until I feel like my heart has said what it needed to say in the song.

If you could change something about the music industry what would change?
This is always such a hard question to answer. My instinct is to say that I would love to demolish the capitalist system so we aren’t all squabbling for any sort of revenue we can find and can instead truly enjoy the magic of creating something, although I think that might open up a vaguely nihilistic rabbithole. Capitalism and creativity are a finicky pair.

What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?
Honestly, it would be a massive struggle, and my bank account would see far more therapy related transactions. I’ve always been a sporty person, so maybe I would be doing something with that, but I honestly can’t imagine a life without creativity being smack bang in the centre of it.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
The absolute dream collaboration would have to be Taylor Swift (let me dream big okay). I grew up on her music and have been hugely influenced by her in my songs. People say they can hear her sound in mine all the time, so it would be the coolest thing ever to actually get to work with her.

What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry ?
Sometimes it can be really hard to feel like you deserve to be here and deserve to take up space, especially when you get imposter syndrome in the mix. I think it’s important to remember why you want to do it, and the personal connection and motivation you have behind wanting to be there. I always remind myself that what matters to me is that I get to create something that feels true to me and what my heart wants to say, and it doesn’t have to resonate with everyone (or anyone really) for it to be special.

What’s your favourite song to perform?
I have been getting super into my on stage antics lately, it’s been chaotic (but in a fun way). For most of my set I play rhythm guitar while singing, but my favourite songs are ones where I had all guitar duties to my guitarist and can properly have a dance on stage without needing to worry about playing chords. One of these songs is called “The Tropics”, another one I love is called “I Kinda Hope You Go Blind” (someone really pissed me off that day). Neither of them are released yet, but who knows, they might be one day.

Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?
Oh, where to begin. My ADHD self has many (many) a hobby. I play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends, and it’s the best thing ever. It’s truly a once-a-week escape from the real world, and I can just think about my character demolishing some dudes (my character is a warlock named Bartholemew, Barty for short, and he’s a Flat Earther currently in the process of recruiting the whole party into the Flat Earth Society. Shock horror gasp, it’s been an uphill battle so far). I also run a monthly bookclub through TikTok which has been so the most wholesome time and I’ve made some really amazing friends through it.

Soundcloud: LONELY LOVER