On Emma Freeman’s “Silver Cup,” a TikTok Duet Becomes a Dewy Summer Single

Under pandemic conditions, the TikTok duet has proven to be one of the most potent tools for musical team-ups. You can add your voice to a choir of “Wellerman” harmonies or, as singer/songwriter and musical theater actress Emma Freeman did for the new single “Silver Cup,” engage in some toplining–composing a vocal melody and writing lyrics for someone else’s existing instrumental. As she said in an interview with Fab Features, it’s a practice she initially discovered while in college at the University of Miami, jump-starting her interest in songwriting.

Back in February, fellow artist and New Yorker Aaron David Gleason posted what would become the guitar part for “Silver Cup” on his own TikTok with an invitation for other musicians to contribute. A few days later, Freeman posted a duet, stacking on Gleason’s plaintive fingerpicking and filling it to the brim with lovelorn indie pop harmonies. 

From there, still working remotely, the two fleshed out the fledgling collaboration in the studio–produced by Gleason and mixed by TJ Elias, guitar flows like a searching mountain stream and Freeman’s vocal arrangement shines like polished silver (note also the cello, performed by Neal Rosenthal). To mark its full arrival from the collaborative digital sketchbook to the ears of listeners, Freeman also filmed a music video with Benjamin Weintraub, capturing the song’s impeccable air of cinematic longing–as dewy, green, and bittersweet as the melody itself.

“Silver Cup” is Freeman’s fourth single and the first collaborative release on Gleason’s Brashtooth Records (he started the label a few years ago as a home for his own unreleased back catalog, with hopes of growing). You can stream and download the song now on your platform of choice and compare with the original TikTok below.

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