Red Ribbon—the rising Seattle-based band of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emma Danner—debuted new single “Document (Alternate Version)” via FLOOD Magazine alongside the announcement that they’ve signed to Danger Collective Records. Dreamy and dark at once, the timely track finds Danner reflecting on historical distortion: “So much of history is erased and what we're left with is the veneration of figures who purchased their historical memory through acts of power, money and violence. It's strange then that as individuals we still privately record our own experiences through photographs or written accounts,” she explains. “What is the purpose of documenting oneself in a world where history is distorted? Why do we create these records when in all likelihood they will evaporate into nothingness? What is recorded is rarely what happened." Watch the song’s accompanying visualizer, in which Danner ironically documents herself on camera, HERE. “Document (Alternate Version)” and B-side single “The Taker” are streaming at all DSPs today. Listen to the digital singles HERE.
“Document (Alternate Version)” and "The Taker" build on the promise of Red Ribbon's 2018 debut album Dark Party—which earned the band local support shows for acts like Cherry Glazerr, among others, and early praise and support from Billboard, Seattle Times, and KEXP (live session)—but allude to the wider scope of sounds and ideas Danner's new body of work encompasses. A sophomore album is currently in the works, and is set for release early next year.
By enlisting a fluid cast of players to perform the songs she’s been writing as Red Ribbon for the past decade, the sound, arrangements, and meaning behind Danner's writing is always evolving. "Document (Alternate Version)" features musicians Josh Hart (Drums) and Geoff Joynes (Bass), with production by Johnny Goss, and "The Taker" features Monika Khot (Keys and Acoustic Guitar), Pat Schowe (Drums), and Veronica Dye (Flute), with production by Randall Dunn.
Collaborating is an important part of Red Ribbon's music today but Danner has not always had the luxury of having peers to play with. While studying archeology at college in San Francisco, she began recording a musical diary from her bedroom and eventually mustered the courage to share her songs with strangers by busking on the street. Inspired by the tradition of American folk music and early 20th Century performers like Billie Holiday, she started writing mournful tunes based in personal storytelling and her own existential doubts. In 2012, she relocated to Seattle, where she found a new home in the PNW’s tight-knit music community.
Through befriending many local musicians and challenging herself to give her sparse songs a heavier sound, Danner constructed the first Red Ribbon live band in Seattle. After taking Red Ribbon on the road for a handful of nationwide tours that she booked herself, Danner set out to record in a proper studio for the first time in 2018. With the help of revered drone metal producer Randall Dunn, Red Ribbon crafted their first LP, Dark Party, at Strange Weather and Figure 8, in Brooklyn NY.