A wide-eyed Richmond expatriate named Emily Easterly has been counting her New York moments. Pretty soon, though, she might just be one herself.
It'll be two years this fall since the young singer-songwriter packed up her electric guitar and hit the road for Brooklyn.
After graduating from Collegiate School in 2004, Easterly left to attend University of Miami's Frost School of Music. During semester breaks at home, she recorded her first two albums at Sound of Music Studios and stole the spotlight at venues such as Poe's Pub and Alley Katz.
"I started off a bit folkier, but I didn't want to be another girl on stage with an acoustic guitar," she says. "There's always been a bit of a rocker in me."
Whether because of experience or the Northern climate, she now leans heavily toward the latter.
Her latest album, "Heart Comma Heart," recorded in New York, showcases a sultry, powerful voice and great electric accompaniment. Her newer material is "rootsier," she says, pulling influences from Bob Dylan and The Kinks. She even picks up a banjo in honor of Neil Young.
Leaving the comforts of Richmond hasn't been an easy transition, but she's done well, winning a name for herself at smaller venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, and teaching guitar lessons for extra cash. So she's surviving, and not just pulling the 9-to-5 like many of the wide-eyed musicians who are lured North. She says she even has free time.
"I do miss Richmond," she says. "The people are nicer, there's great community, and it's definitely cleaner -- but Brooklyn has a lot to offer. And you never know who you're going to meet." There are those New York moments she keeps having, like spotting Bob's son Jakob Dylan in the audience at one of her shows.
"I still haven't gotten everything out of Brooklyn that I could," she says, "and after that, who knows what's next?"