Emergency Tiara Longs for “Summer Lover” in Her Breezy New Single

Today Emergency Tiara—the retro-pop project of Berklee-trained singer-songwriter Juri Jinnai—returns with a quirky, festive bop called “Summer Lover” that sees the New York-via-Tokyo artist longing for a COVID-free season of boozy beach trips and sunny flings.

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“I wrote this song with my writing partner during the early stage of the pandemic with the hopes of having a safe and fun summer,” Jinnai tells American Songwriter of the track, which premieres below.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like we could have a fun summer safely in 2020, so I hope this song brightens up someone’s day and brings some smiles. Maybe make some margaritas, or of course some daiquiris (as I sing in the song), put some swimsuits on, call up your friends, and start planning all of the fun things we can do together once the world is COVID free—all while you are sipping on your beverages.”

Jinnai’s vocals are shimmering and breezy as she delivers the chorus over bright, brassy horns: “Sugar sweet babe / Bitter sweet taste of a summer fling / Sure you got flava / Sure you got flava my summer lover.”

“Summer Lover” was co-written by Jinnai and Carrie Haber and produced by Dave Cole. For Jinnai, the process of putting this song together during a pandemic was a rewarding challenge.

“During the process of working on this song, I was able to work with my musicians remotely,” she explains. “The experience really reminded me of the power of music, that it brings people together no matter what’s going on in the world. It really gave me a sense of community, family, and belonging. Because of this, I would like to spotlight this beautiful non-profit organization called The Children’s Orchestra Society. All proceeds from the single release will be donated to the society as they continue to foster music education for young musicians by offering invaluable performance experiences.”

“Summer Lover” comes after Emergency Tiara’s 2019 debut album, Unsophisticated Circus, which introduced Jinnai’s doo-wop-leaning experimental pop over 11 tracks.

“Emergency Tiara is about exploring what’s been suppressed,” she said upon the record’s release. “When I’m on the stage, it’s like I have a free pass to be who I am and do what I want to do, without worrying about hurting feelings or being polite. On the stage, I can be more self-involved, in a healthy way, and just allow myself to be who I am. So, it’s very freeing for me, and hopefully everyone at the show.”

The standout tracks on Unsophisticated Circus—such as “2 Kool 4 School,” “Happy Together,” and the title track—all bristle with that sense of freedom even when Jinnai sings of hardships.

Of “Woman,” for example, Jinnai told Consequence of Sound, “Growing up in Japan, I was always questioning my culture, specifically asking why women are supposed to obey men just because we are women and they are men. People give me shit when I speak my mind or shave my head. There are so many rules to follow in order to even be considered a ‘capable and appropriate’ woman. Amongst all the beautiful Japanese cultures, that has been one of the things I continuously struggle to understand. I just know too many beautiful, strong and smart Japanese women who diminish themselves just to fit in, and it really breaks my heart to see them like that. And these are the things that inspired and and emboldened me to finally write ‘Woman.’”

Jinnai, for her part, seems more focused on jamming out than fitting in. “Summer Lover” shows the New York singer-songwriter fully embracing the playful, retro-pop persona that she’s crafted as Emergency Tiara.

“Summer Lover” is out now.

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