Soulful singer-songwriter Emily Curtis is bringing fans a new music video for her recently released single, “Sandcastles.” A mix of James Taylor-esque nostalgia and contemporary pop, the single premiered on American Songwriter, and was described as “sculpt[ing] the futility of life and dream-chasing with delicacy and beauty” (American Songwriter). Produced by Micah Nichols (touring guitarist for NEEDTOBREATHE and writing credit with JohnnySwim), “Sandcastles” lyrically explores a poetic contrast between childhood and adulthood – creating for the joy of it versus creating for success and social status. Utilizing moody acoustic riffs and melodic swells that only Curtis’s smooth vocals could appropriately achieve, the singer-songwriter paints a picture of Charleston beaches and warns herself of where she doesn’t want to end up.

Emily Curtis found inspiration in her own childhood, the joy of creating and building sandcastles, simply because it was fun. Reflecting on those moments of joy, and remembering what it was like to look at the houses lining the beach, Curtis always found herself saying “those are adult sandcastles” and wondering “if the people who own them ever actually enjoy them? Are they happy?” “Sandcastles” witnesses Curtis and her fellow artists lose themselves and their pure motivation in the race to the top. The single witnesses that loss of the real joy of building and creating and tries to remind the listener that oftentimes, this joy is found in the process, “in becoming, in learning and trying and starting over, in working with good people, in watching other people succeed, or taking a break for a little while to enjoy what someone else made.” Shot at the historic 20 South Battery Mansion, the music video beautifully captures that idea with a real-life “Sandcastle” house. Built in 1843, the mansion was originally built as a private residence – reflecting the prosperity that was prevalent in South Carolina during that era. The home served as the first preservation society of Charleston – who lead the country in preservation, theatre, art, and music in the renaissance period of the 1920s – and the birthplace of many new societies created by the suffragists, artists, writer-poets, and other creatives that frequently spent time there. Since then, the mansion has seen everything from war to dignitaries gracing the halls, a reminder to Curtis that she never wants to wonder why she ever bothered building and striving for her next achievement, when everything inevitably fades away. Written to remind herself, and us, to remember the “why” behind our building, creating, and striving, “Sandcastles” is an emotional tribute to childlike wonder and joy.

Emily Curtis is a soulful singer-songwriter with a southern flair. The artist began making waves with her guitar and smooth vocals in the Charleston, SC music scene in 2015 and has since released her own music including a crowd-funded EP and a steady stream of singles. No stranger to the stage, Curtis has performed everywhere from local bars to amphitheaters, to radio, to showcases in the Costa Rican jungle, with show credits including national acts such as Parmalee, Sister Hazel, and hometown favorites Hootie & The Blowfish. Collaboration has been the backbone of her career.  Her most recent producers, songwriters, and personal mentors include Micah Nichols,  Sam “Heights” Garay,  Adam McInnis, and Mario Marchetti as she continues to expand her trusted “music family”.  At the end of the day, Emily Curtis hopes to lead people to a place of wholeness and belonging feeling empowered to “Leave a Mark” using the unique gifts and strengths that each person possesses

Cover art for “Sandcastles” by Emily Curtis
Author

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.