‘JJ Johnston’ is the first single from Derry folk artist Emmet McGonagle, under his moniker of Emét. After a two-year hiatus from song writing, he returns with a velvet love letter to the hair salon next door.
Emét‘s luscious locks, along with his style of folk music are tentatively conditioned on this ode to a local business that holds incredible sentimental value to him. Responding to the reimposing of lockdown restrictions, the folk singer-songwriter sums up an optimistic desire to return to normality with the universal chorus of; ‘I can’t wait to take life for granted once again’.
Perfectly fitting for current times and the growing movement to support local businesses, Emet provides a beautiful track in support of his childhood home’s neighbour. The star of the tune is a Limavady salon institution, owned by JJ Johnston. He held father figure status to the young musician and guided him back into making music after the experience of having to close his business after more than a decade of open doors. Written and demoed within a day of receiving the prompt from JJ, Emet truly captures the emotions of the helpless hopefulness that so many of us have come accustomed to.
His poetic approach to songwriting is fully looked after by George Sloan from Half Bap Studios, with beat support from Matt Sloan on drums and Rónán McQuillan on the bass, creating a comforting blanket of sonic melancholy.
We recommend you check out the theatrical music video, where the décor of JJ’s is almost as stunning as his ability to weaponize a brush against Emet, captured by the local independent media company Sunset Media NI.
Watch the video here.
Listen to the track here: