PLAYING CINCY: Elsa Kennedy Celebrates Longing with “Redwoods” Single

Cincinnati singer-songwriter Elsa Kennedy released the beautifully forlorn “Redwoods” as the first in a series of singles that will lead up to her EP, Cadmium.

“‘Redwoods’ is an expression of acute longing,” she told AudioFemme. “I find longing endlessly gorgeous. It’s so painful, but it means so much because we never long for things that we don’t cherish in some really honest way.”

The single was born out of feelings of chaos and hopelessness and written for Kennedy’s partner, Amy, and the life-changing people whose love brings us out of dark times.

“I wrote ‘Redwoods’ in one night, and I was very sick, just out of ICU,” she said. “I was feeling a bit dismayed by the weird clusters of catastrophe that have riddled my personal life, longing for some quiet predictability – this was just as the fires in the Amazon were first being heavily-publicized.”

elsa kennedy redwoods
Elsa Kennedy / Photo by Madeleine Hordinski

“‘Redwoods’ is essentially the amalgamation of longing for all of these impossibly magnificent parts of the world to somehow make it through all of this – including my love, Amy – who is perhaps the most unbelievable, enchanting force in my life. And it’s a promise, to her, the world, and myself, to keep unflinchingly yearning for wonderful things.”

The track marks the first of four singles that Kennedy will release at the end of each month, leading up to the release of her four-song Cadmium EP on December 27. She will also release a video for “Redwoods” on October 11.

“I feel lucky to be able to yearn for things, to love someone so deeply, that the longing for them becomes songs, sketches, paintings, and poems, or new ways of seeing things, new ways of listening to the world,” Kennedy continued.

“It’s a dogged love, that’s almost larger than life, like the redwood forests, like the people closest to us that somehow shape our entire world, like the upside-down galaxy of the ocean. And feeling all of that, the impossible beauty of it all, it transcends pain, life, death, everything.”