10 Questions With Avalon Emerson, As She Releases ‘Avalon Emerson & The Charm’

It’s not every day a globe-trotting DJ swaps techno for sun-kissed dream pop. For Avalon Emerson, a dancefloor savant who has spent the last decade playing the most revered clubs on the planet, the switch-up was born of a desire for a change of pace. Breaking away from a non-stop, relentless touring schedule, in early 2020 Emerson decamped from Berlin to Los Angeles to begin producing for other artists. Derailed by Covid-19, she would then move to outer New York, unexpectedly beginning work on Avalon Emerson & The Charm, a sparkling nine tracks that draw on her teenage love for shoegaze and leftfield pop.

Led by single “Sandrail Silhouette”, the album leans into a rose-tinted, hazy sound which feels at once nostalgic and euphoric. Emerson sings on every track, licked in gentle bursts of reverb and twinkling instrumentals that recall everything from Cocteau Twins through to Connan Mockasin.

Used to playing the likes Berghain’s Panorama Bar and London’s Fabric, Emerson will step out from behind the decks for a series of live shows this summer, including dates in Manchester, Amsterdam and Paris later this month. Before all that, though, we grab Emerson for a quick round of VIQs (that’s very important questions).

1. Who is Avalon Emerson?

“A girl from Arizona who writes songs and DJs.” 

2. Why is this very moment the perfect time for you to release your debut album?

“The new music’s done and in a place that I love, that makes it a perfect enough time as any.”

3. If the album came with a scent, what would it smell like?

“Crocuses on the side of a small hill after rain.”

4. What is the perfect track from the album to introduce people to your sound?

“Astrology Poisoning.”

5. Which is your favourite city to play in?

“I love to DJ in Berlin, and I’ve so far only played live in London, so London is my favourite city to play live in.”

6. What can we expect from your live shows in the coming months?

“Our light show’s sparklin’, and I am so grateful to be flanked by two absolute shredders, my wife Hunter on guitar, and my lifelong friend Keivon on bass and cello.”

7. Has it been nerve wracking stepping from behind the DJ decks to performing live in front of an audience?

“The learning curve is steep but it feels like I’m at the beginning of something beautiful, full of possibilities and growth, the nerves are fine.”

8. If we were coming around to yours for dinner, what would you cook us?

“I make a great bolognese.”

9. What’s your party trick?

“I can do an extremely loud 2 or 4-finger whistle.”

10. What does the rest of 2023 hold for you?

“Touring, trying to spend as much of the autumn upstate as possible, a summer in Berlin with my wife and dog.”

Portrait by Tonje Thilesen. ‘Avalon Emerson & The Charm’ is available on all major platforms now. 


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