PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Emily Kinney: 13 February 2014 - Rockwood Music Hall, New York

Emily Kinney, Beth Greene in AMC's The Walking Dead, is also a talented singer-songwriter with two charming EPs under her belt.

Emily Kinney
City: New York
Venue: Rockwood Music Hall
Date: 2014-02-13

Just about six months ago, I learned that Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl Dixon on AMC's The Walking Dead, was also a photographer when he was the host of a Canon camera event. It wasn't long after that I learned that one of his co-stars, Emily Kinney, who plays Beth Greene, is a singer-songwriter who also calls NYC home. Kinney, as Greene, gained exposure as a singer when she performed "The Parting Glass" on the show with Lauren Cohen, her on-screen sister Maggie. Towards the end of 2013, she released her second EP Expired Lover, the follow-up to 2011's Blue Toothbrush -- from which she pulled many of her songs for her pre-Valentine's Day show at Rockwood Music Hall.

With one of the frequent seasonal snow-storms cancelling work for many people, New York City was a mess and people were off from work, but it didn't stop Kinney from making her appearance, or from bringing Valentine's Day cards to the smattering of folks in attendance (she was still without a Valentine). With her backing band, she delivered a warm and inviting performance that was pleasing without veering into bubble-gum territory. I mention that because Kinney told a story of how a former boyfriend told her that her songs "are really cute, but you should probably stick to acting". I agree that her songs are really cute, but I don't necessarily feel she doesn't have a place in music. Her lyrics aren't steeped in literary cleverness or drawn-out metaphors but they are nimble, sweet and heartfelt... yes essentially cute.

Kinney's songs like "Married", "Julie" and "Expired Lover" address young/new/former/desired lovers in stories often set in New York City from the Hudson River to Brooklyn to Times Square. In the song "Times Square", Kinney sings of a former beau who she has parted ways with but still has some desire for. She described "Julie" as a song about a guy she wants to be with, but the fellow is already with someone named Julie, but with some imploring maybe he'd dump Julie for Emily. Kinney recruited the audience to join in the command of "take home Julie" so the possible-lover could be affected by the vibrations. It was one of a few audience participation moments, including another song where the audience snapped along with Kinney, despite the acknowledged difficulty of continuously snapping.

"Married" is a mellower, drifting song that reflects on a why the girl and boy aren't yet married. It verges on the sugary with a line like "we are running out of jelly beans" and a reference to "making out", but it comes across winsome rather than sappy. There were a couple of new songs that Kinney recently recorded that she performed, including a song inspired by her father about sometimes having to give up on your dreams, that was performed solo and a capella. It was mournful and in stark contrast to most of the other songs. The final recording is likely more polished but it was excellent way to showcase Kinney's voice.

Kinney likely knows her songwriting needs further honing hence her release of new music as an "EP" instead of a proper "album" but that shouldn't stop you from giving it a listen. If you are young and in love, you'd find some great (but unabashedly direct) choices here for a mixtape and even if you are not, many of her songs might be great for some Sunday afternoon lounging. Kinney's warmth is certainly inviting and she herself is quite friendly. Maybe it was a part of a ploy to find a Valentine but Kinney was happy to stay after her show to sign autographs and give Valentines to her fans.

Check out a larger gallery of images over at Facebook!

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.