In an opening video for a Union Zero piece on Emma Danner, Red Ribbon’s frontwoman can be seen donning a yellow sweater that just so happens to match the firepit into which she’s smashing an innocent acoustic guitar, stunningly framed by a quasi-blue garage landscape. This is a perfect example of the kind of contrast and suburban madness that seeps through her latest material, “Freaks Only.”
As a Seattle based songwriter, Danner started making music in secret in 2012 and started building a body of work that is now complemented by her peers Natasha El-Sergany (guitar), Geoff Joynes (bass), Monika Khot (keys/guitar), Pat Schowe (drums) and Veronica Dye (flute). The six-piece plays songs that sometimes feel like finding a long-lost love letter while cleaning your room and other times like a lo-fi sugar coated dagger that’s equally enticing as it is threatening.
Tijuana is one of the last shows on their tour, and also their first gig in Mexico. With a song called “Idiot Orange” (I’ll leave the obvious references to you), I asked Danner how she feels about breaching the divide with their art.
“We hope to share the experience of performing live with the audience. Music does not have borders and it is a wonderful way for us to connect with each other. The best concerts have electric energy coming from the musicians and the audience -- like a conversation. I hope this happens for our show,” she said.
And it’s this electricity that she so embodies that will make this such an interesting spectacle to witness -- the same kind of electricity that might warm you up or burn you down, and you will welcome either way.
“I’ll take whatever I can get,” Danner sings sweetly on the seventh track of "Freaks Only," “But you should know you’re going down with me.”