College can be a period of confusion and darkness, but Emily Barnes is going to “Let in the Light” with the release of her new album at The Thought Lot on Friday.
“The songs ebb and flow from the uncertainty of the darkness to the finally coming out on the other side,” Barnes said.
Barnes has been singing for as long as she can remember. After receiving a guitar for Christmas when she was 16 years old and listening to Brandi Carlile on a mix-tape, she morphed into a singer/songwriter. Soon her hobby became a profession as her time became completely devoted to writing songs and playing at open mics. Barnes’ debut album, “Beautiful Goodbyes,” was released in early 2014 followed by her duo album “Closer to Home” with Mike Herz in 2015.
“The best advice I could give anyone going into this is to be aware that it is not going to be easy. It is challenging, it is frustrating, it can be utterly defeating at times,” Barnes said. “But at the heart of it all are the songs.”
The New Jersey native has been touring the nation. She started out with only a duffel bag and tent, but now drives a van. Barnes described a thirst for travel. Whenever she is at her home she longs to be touring. Barnes previously performed at The Thought Lot in July of 2016.
“Let in the Light” has a calming, folksy feel to it. The songs are almost lullaby-like with Barnes’ soft voice and peaceful strumming of her guitar. The album opens with “Into The Dawn” which is a short and simple melody that ends with wolves howling into “Uncertainty.” “Uncertainty” transports listeners to a coffee shop with the rattling of cups and plates.
Barnes ends with the upbeat revelation in “Don’t Know Who I’ll Be.” She sings about how she does not know where she will be when she is 28, or 33, or 45, or 64, but she hopes she gives a lot to the world and enjoys the ride.
In addition to Barnes’ performance, Sarah Fiore, from Indian Summer Jars, and Brendan Fletcher will be playing. Tickets are $8 with a Shippensburg University ID and $10 for the public. Music begins at 7 p.m.