Embracer – Mend [Take This To Heart Records]
Available Oct 09
I have to confess that when I am sent music to review I tend not to read the accompanying record Company or PR blurb. This is especially true if I am not familiar with the band. I prefer to listen without pre-conceptions. As a result I confess that this has lead to some real surprises, some of them not exactly pleasant at that.
So it proved with Embracer’s latest offering, Mend. Of course those who have been reading these pages for a while know that here at Sound Of Summer we only review music that we connect with. When I first spoke to the lovely people at Take This To Heart Records I checked out a few of the bands on their label on YouTube and found that most had a punk, post-punk or hardcore leaning so when I sat down to listen to this EP I expected to have my eardrums assaulted. I had also spotted that Embracer had been on the Vans Warped Tour so I most certainly did not expect what I actually got.
There may only be three track on this release but they are beautiful. I don’t mean just nice this is stripped back to the bone, acoustic, personal and heartbreakingly beautiful. For the most part the sound is just vocalist Jordan Bradley and an acoustic guitar. The vocal is simply stunning, pitch perfect and full of emotion as he tells his tales of broken families, absent fathers and broken hearts. Where Bradley’s heart is on his sleeve mine was in my mouth, this is lump in the throat raw emotion, painful experience put to music.
I won’t try to provide a breakdown of each track it would be pointless. In “Remission” Bradley sings about “being afraid to breathe and break the silence” and that is how this music grabbed me. From first note to last I was enthralled, gripped and almost afraid to breathe for fear of breaking the spell that Bradley weaves with his voice.
This is music that leaves you emotionally exhausted, drained. Dark, brooding, emotional and personal from beginning to end Mend gives a real insight into the bands songwriting skills and probably what is to come from Embracer. I for one can’t wait for a full length release from this band.