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​​​​​​​Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Not a Good Woman" by Emerson Woolf & the Wishbones

By Bob Makin

originally published: 01/26/2024

​​​​​​​Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Not a Good Woman" by Emerson Woolf & the Wishbones

“Not a Good Woman,” the title track of Asbury Park-based Emerson Woolf & the Wishbones’ debut EP, is the Makin Waves Song of the Week. PHOTO BY LORENZO GRAZIANO

Formed less than a year ago, Emerson Woolf & the Wishbones quickly have become a music scene staple. The five-piece Americana band wasted no time releasing their EP, “Not a Good Woman,” just a month after their debut single, “Oblivion,” as well as being named the Makin Waves Best New Artist of 2023.

Now, the title track of their five-song EP is the Makin Waves Song of the Week.

As the Makin Waves Song of the Week, “Not a Good Woman” also can be heard between 6 and 8 p.m. on Jan. 26 on “Radio Jersey” at If you miss it, you can tune in any time in the archives at The Penguin and MixCloud.

Through emotive lyrics and vocals, Emerson’s songs often draw the connection between everyday dynamics and their deeper meanings. She takes inspiration from traditional Appalachian folk, as well as indie pop.

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“‘Not a Good Woman’ is about wrestling with the idea that the choices you’re making, the person you are in this moment isn’t a person you like,” she said. “It’s about realizing that all of your circumstances haven’t made you stronger. Instead, they’ve pulled you down with them, and you honestly feel a bit grossed out by yourself. I know that sounds depressing. I think it’s honest though, and I think many of us have been there. I know that I have. And now I can look back on the woman I was with enough clarity to have empathy and to have love for her.”

The Wishbones are comprised of lead guitarist Jennifer Lopes,  banjoist-mandolinist Jason Portizio, and sibling rhythm section Zack and Jacob Moore on drums and bass respectively.

Their EP is about growing up, Emerson said. In addition to the shame of Not a Good Woman, the record deals with the desperation of unrequited love (“You’re What Keeps Me Up Now”), guilt (“Jersey Baby”), anger from broken promises (Nobody’s Girl) and life lessons (“Past Lives”).

“I had this idea to create a series of short form videos to represent the mood of this EP, and, of course, it had to be Lorenzo Graziano,” Emerson said. “He’s just an incredible artist and videographer. What I knew I wanted was for the videos to be created in Asbury Park, where the band formed and where we’re based, and I knew I wanted a monster. A monster, to me, is the perfect representation of the struggle between who you are or have been and who you want to become.”

The video series can be found at Emerson’s Instagram at

The monster to which Emerson referenced is a puppet head handcrafted by Ally Higgens. Zack plays the monster.

After you’ve enjoyed the videos, see the band live Feb. 8 at Pet Shop in Jersey City, Feb. 9 at Crossroads in Garwood, March 8 at Pino’s in Highland Park, March 22 at Asbury Park Book Collective, and April 6 at Clinch Transparent Gallery, also Asbury.

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In June, they plan to release a full-length follow-up to “Not a Good Woman.” For more, follow Emerson on Instagram.

Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at



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