From ladyparts to Wishbones – A Track-By-Track Conversation With Emerson Woolf

If you threw the work of Suki Waterhouse, Sleater-Kinney, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lainey Wilson into a blender, the outcome would be Emerson Woolf and the Wishbones.

When it comes to Emerson Woolf and the Wishbones, it’s less about who you are, and more about how you became who you are. The band’s frontwoman not only shares this message through song, but lives it wholeheartedly. Her honest, melodic musings come from experience and reflection. The beauty in that and the strength in that is something that listeners will surely relate to upon listening to the brand new record, Everything Must Go. This piece of art audibly showcases Emerson Woolf living her truth. She has persevered without losing herself. She continues to become her dream without forgetting who had those dreams in the first place. She sings with emotion that is as clear as day from the first note of the opening track through the raw stories and starry-eyed narratives and up until the über-folksy end of the album.

With so much to connect to (Hello, local flair!) and even more to unpack, we had Ms. Woolf breakdown Everything Must Go, the highly-anticipated new release from Emerson Woolf and the Wishbones

Georgetown 1999

“The opening track is an introduction to the larger theme of the album. Named for the town in Texas I lived in as a young child, the song speaks to the struggle between wanting to hold on to the things and the people who have hurt us and wanting to heal. As a person without contact with either of my parents, sometimes there is an incredible guilt attached to it and other times a lot of resentment; the chorus – ‘Sometimes all that’s left to give is only all that’s left’ – speaks to that. People can only give what they have. My parents were, of course, people with their own pain who didn’t have the ability to care for me. After having spent many years of my adulthood making an effort to form that broken connection (often at the expense of myself), I can see that to be true from my perspective as well – sometimes all that’s left to give is only all that’s left.”

Church Camp

‘”Church Camp’ is a story of being queer and in love and unnecessarily ashamed. Love feels so kind and so pure; like the most honest thing there is. So how confusing it is then to be told it is grotesque – that something so sweet could be worth eternal punishment – especially as a young person.”

Somebody still loves you, Barbara

“Barbara is my birth name (Barbara Ann, in fact). I’ve sincerely dedicated myself to becoming a stronger person and to growing from hardships I’ve been faced in my life. This song is a reminder that even before Emerson, Barbara was deserving of just as much.”

oh no/true love 

“This may be my favorite song from this record; the concertina as well as the harmony vocals really lend to the emotiveness of the lyrics and I just love all of my band mates’ interpretations of it. The song is about the inevitable risk of falling in love and how even facing that risk, it is, of course, the only thing to do.”

Good Teeth

“This song is just so ridiculously fun to play. The three part harmony cuts through the chaos of the high energy instrumental and everyone is just sort of going off the whole time. Coming out of ‘oh no/true love’ where things can seem to be becoming tumultuous in love, ‘Good Teeth’ is in the center of that storm.”

Mother blues

“The solo track of the album was recorded live in a single take. This song is about breaking generational curses and how even when being intent it can be easy to slip back into familiar patterns.”

Two Weeks Notice

“Of course I would love to quit my day job (If you’re my boss reading this, I’m just kidding!), but the industry is a strange beast and I need gas money to get to my gigs. [This song’ is sort of a starving artist anthem about how humbling the experience of being a working musician can be. Another fun three part harmony track, which is just such incredible fun during the live performance.”


“Before Emerson Woolf & the Wishbones I was in a punk band called ladyparts. This is the only song I’ve ever transcribed from my punk catalog but I just felt it lended itself so well to a folk/Americana sound. It just goes to show there is a reason for keeping all of those voice memos after all.”