Miss Independent: Emmelie De Forest releases “Sanctuary”, her first single since leaving Universal


She’s the Danish Eurovision winner who’s become a prolific songwriter for other acts. But today, after a two year break, Emmelie De Forest returns with a new single of her own — “Sanctuary”

Scroll down for audio

Only 3 days left! #Sanctuary #newmusic #outsoon ??

A post shared by Emmelie de Forest (@emmeliedeforest) on

The song is Emmelie’s first since splitting from Universal towards the end of 2015. Then she appeared to be in an artistic limbo. Attempts to move on from “Only Teardrops” and “Rainmaker” saw her sound veer in wildly differing directions. Although “Drunk Tonight” and “Hopscotch” each had their own merits, the stark disparities between the two suggested that all was not right.

And the Eurovision 2013 champion admits as much. “I needed to find myself as an artist, figure out my own sound”, she says, “play the guitar and write even more songs, without anyone interfering”.

Thankfully, if “Sanctuary” is anything to go by, everything is back on track.

Don’t be fooled by the cover art. The blue jumpsuit and perm might scream 1970s disco diva, but Emmelie isn’t trying to be the next Donna Summers. Instead, she’s updated the folk-pop that first brought her success almost five years ago.

Tribal drums and flutes no longer dominate as the 24-year-old sings over a menagerie of instruments. And while previously the songstress occasionally came across as aloof, “Sanctuary” is full of warmth.

Infectiously upbeat, it’s impossible not to smile as De Forest takes us to a place where she’s free to be herself and do what she likes. “This is my sanctuary, this is my show-and-tell, so free”.

Writing in the official press release, Emmelie explains the meaning behind the lyrics:

A Sanctuary could be many different things. To me, it’s all the ideas that pop up in your head and then suddenly you see them transform from a feather in your mind to actual wings. It’s really the feel-ing of creating something, weather it be a song, a story or a painting.

So to me a sanctuary is not just a place to hide from danger, but a place away from the world and the daily life where you can dream and create.

Songs with such sentiments of self-discovery and hope can often be cloying or cheesy. “Sanctuary” is neither.

It’s a refreshingly simple comeback, and all the better for it.

Emmelie De Forest “Sanctuary” (Official Audio)

Emmelie hasn’t been busy doing nothing during her two year hiatus.

Aside from writing songs for Eurovision stars Anja Nissen and Lucie Jones, she also embarked on a crowdfunding campaign for her new EP. She smashed her initial target, reaching 150% of her goal.

Hopefully this means we won’t have to wait so long for her next effort.

Are you happy to hear new music from Emmelie De Forest? What do you think of “Sanctuary”? And would you like her to perform at Eurovision again? Let us know in the comments below.

Emmelie de Forest interview at Eurovision 2017


Listen to our new music playlist on Spotify.

Follow all our Denmark Eurovision 2018 news.