Em Beihold Wants You to Be Able to Sing-Along to Her Pensive Diary Entries
Photo: Ashley Osborn
What do heartfelt songwriting and competitive fencing have in common? Well, Em Beihold for starters. The 22-year-old artist and master of both pastimes has found the connection between the pen and the sword. Both a musician and a competitive fencer, Beihold notes how both practices require incredible mental energy and endurance, with the lessons and skills that she learned from fencing directly translating into how she was able to cope with the isolation of the pandemic and ultimately use it as an opportunity to create more music.
Like many artists during the initial wave of lockdowns, Beihold used songwriting and music as a means to emotionally release her pent-up feelings of isolation. In May of 2021, she posted a clip of what would come to be her single "Groundhog Day." The clip featured Beihold reliving the same day over and over again in a constant loop, articulating not just her feelings of isolation but holding up a mirror to our own anxious uncertainties.
Writing about themes that resonated with the world at large, it is little surprise that the clip accrued over 20 million views. And while the track's focus speaks to the whirlwind of emotions surrounding the pandemic, "Groundhog Day" is also a timeless story of self-discovery. Backed by blithe production, Beihold hopelessly sings out, "My friend's baby's on the way / Just 22, but should I do the same? / But I'm broke and unemployed / Another night staring straight into the void." Coupling effervescent, earworm production and Beihold's penchant for confessional lyricism, the rising star undoubtedly knows just how to pull on our heartstrings.
"Groundhog Day" proved to be just another step forward for Beihold, however, with her latest single "Numb Little Bug" quickly proving to be a runaway hit. Pondering the sentiment, "Do you ever get a little bit tired of life, like you're not really happy, but you don't want to die, like a numb little bug that's gotta survive?," the rising artist transposes what reads like an aimless diary entry into a deceptively carefree sing-along moment.
Not only do Beihold's candid lyrics make it all too easy to find a kindred spirit in her music, but she also incorporates elements from a wide range of genres into her deeply personal yet relatable brand of pop. She states how she "doesn't want to do something that has already been done, and would rather do something new," which shows in how she melds elements of alternative pop, folk, and jazz. Most notably, Beihold uses her music to modernize classical jazz, finding ways to spur moments of familiarity and nostalgia while still offering something completely novel.