EMOT is a slow-core indie rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. Taking cues from Talk Talk, Halloween Alaska & Acetone, the band’s spacious music unfolds and grows organically on record and in the live setting. Embedded in this openness and sonic space are finely tuned folk songs in the vein of On the Beach-era Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson, and Jeff Tweedy. The group’s core line-up consists of Dan Choma (drums/keyboards/sampling), Justin Hartke (bass/vocals), Matt Leavitt (vocals/guitars/keyboards) & Robert Mulrennan (guitars/sampling/vocals).
For their third LP, self-titled EMOT, the band enlisted the veteran hand of producer Brian Moen of Peter Wolf Crier, Laarks, and The Shouting Matches. It is the sound of two weeks in two years. Of purposed efforts with room to breathe. Of console organs, rummage sale keyboards, saturated guitars and a beating heart of Wurlitzer & Rhodes pianos. From Moen’s basement studio in Roseville, MN to his parent’s cabin outside of North Branch, MN sounds were tracked with focus and a clear sense of direction. The ten songs are a mission statement; of a band fully embracing a sound and a cohesive environment. Throughout EMOT there are explorations of duality; walking through the gooey muck of self-absorption and learning how to breathe like the piercing clarity and neon darkness of a winter night sky.
EMOT has shared the stage with other venerable Twin Cities musicians such as Haley Bonar, Halloween Alaska, Love Cars, No Bird Sing, We Are the Willows, Adam Svec, Van Stee, amongst others.
2011 saw the release of their sophomore effort, Make You Electric, which Rob Van Alstyne of Minneapolis City Pages dubbed “A subtly stunning listen”. Upon its release, Make You Electric was amongst the CMJ’s top 20 adds as well as charting in the CMJ top 200; netting a wider audience for the group at home & abroad. Those same sessions also culminated in a cassette-only EP, Trees & Claws, released in March of 2012.
Press for EMOT
March 6th, 2014 Rooted in the Valley -Volume One Magazine
“Play this record at medium-to-loud volumes through your car stereo. Crack your windows so you can start smelling the ground again, maybe get some road noise. Aim for that time of day when the sun gets low and long and yellow. Let a friend ride with you, let the trip do the talking, and let yourself believe that spring is coming. Believe it, because Emot is telling you so, and Emot is a band you want to believe…Emot is the band’s third full-length release in about four years, and like a photograph taken in infinity focus, it is both nuanced and expansive.”
March 5th, 2014 From Art to Local Music to the EMOT Record Release -The Cedar Cultural Center Blog
“This will be their 3rd record, so if you live in the Twin Cities and haven’t heard of them yet, you’re missing out. I recently inhaled their last two albums and was thoroughly pleased. Not to mention, this album was produced by Brian Moen, notable for his involvement with bands Peter Wolf Crier, Shouting Matches, and Laarks, so you know it’s going to be good…I urge you to take a chance right now on Emot. Living in the Twin Cities, we have a lot of opportunities to see live music of aspiring bands and musicians, and this is my ploy to all of the music lovers out there”
March 4th, 2014 EMOT : You Have Hope in Little Spurts and You Revel in That -City Pages-Gimmie Noise Blog
“We have Emot to save us during this eternal winter. The Minneapolis/St. Paul band created an understatedly dark and intricate album on their third time around — perfect for a winter evening”
March 4th, 2014 EMOT : This week’s Minnesota record releases -KCMP 89.3 The Current Local Current Blog
A four-man indie band taking cues from slowcore and Americana, EMOT now present their third self-titled LP, loaded with breezy, heartfelt melody and subtle folk twang…EMOT sees the band in an aesthetic sphere that is masterfully layered, quietly energetic, and emotive. Adding to the album’s success are its impressive crew of producers, who include Brian Moen of Peter Wolf Crier, Laarks, and the Shouting Matches. EMOT is the product of a band growing into their highly sophisticated sound—just refined enough for an easy listen, just big enough for a compelling one—and before you know it, this band just might creep their way into bigger and bigger spotlights”
February 13th, 2014 EMOT on Top 10 must-see Minnesota Music Videos -City Pages-Gimmie Noise
February 7th, 2014 EMOT on Friday Five -KCMP 89.3 The Current Local Current Blog
“Garbage Tones” is a beautiful little song that marries pop and lo-fi/psych influences with a searing sense of melancholy. I don’t know what kind of organ or synth is used in this song, but I could listen to it for a long time”…
March 29th, 2012- Emot on Trees & Claws and DIY Cassettes -City Pages-Gimmie Noise
“…[Trees & Claws EP] is a particularly cozy dream in which you find yourself wandering in a foggy, vast landscape. In short: brilliant”…Read More
September 2011- EMOT – Bandcamphunter Pick of the Week
“…[EMOT] are practitioners of beautiful folk pop…This is anti-anxiety music; songs that are almost extreme in their subtlety and softness. That may be a strange contradiction, but it’s accurate. And hard to pull off. I am not one for the middle of the road, and I don’t believe EMOT’s music can be classed as such. They are off and away from the road, laying in a field, staring at the sky. Not thinking at all. Only taking it in. And realising the beauty of it all.” …Read More
September 28th, 2011- EMOT – ‘Ancients’ – Minneapolis Fucking Rocks
[‘Ancients’ from Make You Electric] is just flat-out a beautiful song and I am way down with the Microphones-esque breakdown”
September 27th, 2011- New Release: EMOT – Make You Electric -The Indie Machine
September 14th, 2011- Emot Leave the City to Make You Electric -City Pages
“…A subtly stunning listen, Make You Electric feels tailor-made for late-night campfire listens and headphone-powered woodland wandering. Imagine Halloween, Alaska making an alt-country album and you’re getting close”…Read More
June 11, 2011- EMOT Byte Size Review -Peer Validated
“…there’s definitely something to be excited about. “Ancients” is a gradual, contemplative jam that slowly unfolds underneath a delicate melodic motif sung with convincing solemnity by lead songwriter Matt Leavitt.“…Read More
June 10, 2011- Emot -‘My Old Friends‘ -Getoffthecoast
“…straightforward & honest…Give this record a listen when it’s chilly out and you’re unboxing your scarves and sweaters”…Read More
January 23, 2010- Two EMOT-ional Drunks -Duluth News Tribune
“[On debut Two Drunks] EMOT slips through the ears like a swirling stream. Each track seems to feature acoustic guitars and electronic features. The vocals are wonderfully clear and give the high notes without becoming too trebly. Each track feels like the soundtrack to a dream. They give off the impression of being floating, colorful, and cloudlike. EMOT has a lot of future potential and, I feel, has yet to reach its peak of creative work.”…Read More