The product of three years of writing, arranging, performing, and rearranging, Restless is a diverse but cohesive statement. Much of the record is heavy on Powers’ looped and layered guitar, which has simultaneously grown more formally ambitious and somehow more slangily loose. Sonically, listeners will hear touches of everything from Courtney Love to Sade, but unified by the emotional intensity of Fiona Apple or Cat Power.
Powers’ music has been a well-kept secret for over a decade. Starting in Michigan in the early 2000’s, Emily wrote and recorded an album nearly every year, honing a bedroom pop sound that was simultaneously lush, intimate, and playful. Fiercely independent, her albums were generally DIY in spirit and technique, reaching perfection with 2009’s Undertone, a joyfully luxuriant assembly of sugary and multilayered pop. 2014’s Part of Me introduced a more collaborative and polished approach, paving the way for the sonically-intimate and emotional explorations of 2018’s Restless.