People often remark about The Recommender’s editorial content. Some love the lengthier pieces, as it gives them more information and they hit the play buttons before reading the article so it acts as a soundtrack to the words. Others moan about how it’s too wordy and lengthy, stating that we write too much – although we suggest that in reality it’s probably them that perhaps doesn’t read enough. Either way, we’re sticking to our prose. We feel it gives the reader a richer experience and more information than simply listing mp3s. We believe it allows us to share an opinion or an insight, giving the blog more of a voice and therefore a boost of independence. It’s ours. It’s us. We figure that those visitors who don’t like it can skip to the play button anyway. Nobody here is forcing how The Recommender experience is digested.
During these paragraphs we try and explain as much as we can about the artist being featured. This isn’t always an easy thing to do, mainly because we operate in the world of emerging music, so there simply isn’t that much on offer in terms of back-story or context. Some artists also hide or hold back from letting the bloggers or the public know about them, allowing their music to speak instead. However, we always persevere and upon discovering a new piece of music the first thing we do is research. We don’t care for being first to an artist, instead we select to take our time and recommend something that we’ve fully explored. The first thing is to search online for any other coverage, by hunting through our beloved blog network or on the usual spaces such as Hype Machine, Elbows, etc. Then we hunt out the artist’s contact details and approach them directly asking the basic biographical questions.
We started this process with today’s discovery, Embers, having stumbled upon them from the excellent Lost Lost Lost blog. We set about the research, only to hit dead end after dead end. There was zero on Hype Machine and nothing cropped up on other searches. They’re a Manchester quartet, and Matt Britton who had written the Lost Lost Lost post is also from Manchester, so we figured that his geographical position allowed him to simply got to them very very early, hence the otherwise Internet silence. We immediately got to step two and fired off an email asking them the basic questions, one of which was “when did you start?“. The response promptly arrived – “There really isn’t too much to say actually because we really only put those demos out at the weekend“. Um, OK that explains it then.
As much as we love operating in new music, this lot haven’t even got into the wrapping, let alone out of it yet. The band consists of Nathan, Will, George and Steven. George sings on these demos, but they tend to alternate vocals depending on the tune. They’ve created a small batch of tracks that are so strong that we liked them from the outset. We would strongly suggest that the band prepares for some keen attention from the media in the coming weeks and months, as it’s that impressive. Perhaps they’re not ready, but on this evidence, they’d better get ready. Fast. Tunnel Vision alone is going to make people sit up. It’s loose production is understandable, considering it’s just a demo, but what it lacks in polish it makes up for with energy and power. It’s like standing on the roof of a collapsing skyscraper; dramatic, industrial, scary, loud and it makes for one of the most intense few seconds we’ve ever had.
Without Fear Or Failure feels like waking up in the afterlife, all cinematic and grand, but mesmerising and relieving at the same time. Synthetic strings swirl above rumbling drums as it builds like a race to the finish line. Once properly produced it would help to have George’s vocals stand out a little more, as currently they’re a little drowned out by the drums, but it’s not a criticism, as demos are demos. Once they hit the studio proper the sky will be the limit for these guys. They create the kind of drama that Chapel Club, or Munich dreamed about and The Horrors have only perhaps reached this pinnacle after a couple of albums. Days Turn Into Weeks delivers yet more theatre, of a kind that fellow Mancs Hurts regularly attempt, but totally miss due to a lack of sincerity. It’s a more patient song, but it’s still towering and absolutely massive. It may well be very early days – week one in fact – but it will be interesting to see if they are ready to adapt to the attention this music clearly deserves. On the small amount of evidence available to us we’re happy to conclude that this band are not just worthy of a few blog inches, but good enough to breach the wider media’s attention too. 2012 just got a new contender. (MB)
EMBERS – TUNNEL VISION
EMBERS – DAYS TURN INTO WEEKS