Emblems - Emblems EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: November 2009
Emblems has presented me with an EP different from my normal music playlist. The indie folk band from Lake Zurich, Illinois, has the traditional guitar and bass, but also adds in the the violin, viola, glockenspiel, and keys. With these supporting the quality croons and serenades of the vocalists, Emblems creates music that is happy and light while still being emotive and enchanting.
With a four-track, 13-minute run time, this self-titled EP gives you just a taste of the beauty in this music before leaving you wanting for more. "Morning Breath" is a great track to open the album. Despite surprisingly dark lyrics ("Because my anger lingers on/Soon winter will come/And spread its arms around us"), the strings keep the music light and flowing. This proves to be Emblems' strength on this EP, as simple bass and guitar keep the beat while the strings are allowed to hypnotically wind their way into and around your ears. This continues on "Power Lines," on which the strings shine, as do the voices of the women who play them.
When the women add their more hushed voices to the mix, it only adds to the music's beauty. This is true on every track, although "From the Clouds" has an especially impressive balance between the many vocals. "To Your Door" features Hail Archer's Brian Tombari lending his voice as he lifts the music to a rare soaring, powerful high.
Though short, this in an impressive EP. Emblems' music has a very earthy feel, aiming more to surround and enfold you rather than soar above you. It's perfect for enjoying a rainy spring day. The guitar and bass are the ground below, the vocals are the wind through the trees, and strings are the rain all around. A bit overdone, maybe, but I stand behind it. With excellent vocals and strings that set them apart from other unknown bands, Emblems is definitely worth checking out.