Kevin Embleton has been writing songs and recording albums for nearly fifteen years. After playing in several high school bands to get his start, Embleton recorded and released his first solo record, Somewhere Far Away independently at eighteen years old, in 2008. Shortly after his solo debut and running out of copies to sell, Embleton cofounded indie rock band, A Minor Bird with drummer and best friend, Nate Netti. The group released their album, Where the River Breaks Free in 2010 and spent several years touring the east coast and midwest together before disbanding. After a short break from the music scene, in search of new direction and with a handful of songs, Embleton gathered a group of musicians to record his first album under the moniker "Embleton". The result was a full-length album entitled It Did Me Well in 2015, recorded live in a living room in Canton, Ohio.
Shortly after releasing the album, Embleton moved to San Francisco to continue creating music, but also with a newfound passion to empower other artists to do the same. For years Embleton kept his home recording equipment mostly for recording demos and experimentation, leaving the albums for "official studios". But after years of practice and with the help of a few friends, Embleton now records almost exclusively at his own studio, which he calls Slow Heart.
Since releasing, It Did Me Well Embleton has also released an EP titled, Everything About This Feels Temporary and more recently a double single called Love For Where You Are.
We were floored when we heard this track (Everything About This Feels Temporary), but the video alone makes it worthy of our attention. The beach setting and the drone shots only enhance the existential ponderings of the California songwriter. Embleton has a way of making listeners feel nostalgic for what has never been and heartbroken but uplifted. His is a rare songwriting quality beautifully captured with this video. After a year of personal trials, his latest release is set to be his most raw and personal, and we cannot wait to hear more. - Ear To The Ground
"Kevin paints his songs with bold imagery but omits key details. The listener must draw upon their own experiences to fill in the gaps. Amid country waltzes and strummed melodies, everyone shares the same humanity, the same emotions, the same story."Â - (Let Us Make A Record)
It Did Me Well:
"Musically, this is an album that’s drenched in Americana roots... The songwriting stands out and pushes this above records coming from a similar place. There’s a laidback lilt at play here that draws the listener in and then refuses to let you out" -Sonic Breakfast (Full Review Here)
"Embleton's It Did Me Well... a set of tight, lush, upbeat alt-country songs reminiscent of Dawes and Ryan Adams. The nine songs here form a cohesive whole that shows refined songwriting and arranging skills on the part of bandleader Kevin Embleton." - Independent Clauses (Full Review Here)
"For a debut, this album feels incredibly mature to me. Throughout the whole record, a steady, consistent sound shines through. Embleton’s music evokes acoustic, rock-n-roll, country, and folk in a pure and unabashed format." - Dylan Sonderman (Alt Ohio Full Review)
"Did you ever notice how children never aspire to mundane, commonplace jobs? There are no kindergarteners playacting their futures as accountants, realtors or insurance agents. As kids, we gravitate towards the careers that provide some level of positive exposure and self-gratification – we want to be moon-bound astronauts, prolific athletes, or maybe even rockstars. Of course, with age we gain insight that most of these are not attainable without a great personal cost, so we bow out and pursue vocations far less sexy. When a kid becomes an adolescent and realizes that becoming an astronaut requires a supreme intellect and years of military enlistment, he begins to hedge his bet on something a little less daunting. When a high school athlete realizes he has a .00001% chance of going pro, he starts taking academics seriously.
I think the thing that drives the young and naïve away from professional music is the realization that you have to sing about something – if you fill an LP with trite euphemisms and unoriginal compositions, you're doing a disservice to yourself and your audience, and ultimately no one is going to care. From the first line of “It Did Me Well”, it is apparent that Kevin Embleton is not coasting off an adolescent daydream. He shares vulnerably about some of life's hardest circumstances, and pays homage to St Paul's acknowledgement to the Roman's that suffering doesn't have to begin and end at misery, it can teach us something.
I love the style of this album. It traces its roots to some of the true greats of the country/folk tradition. The opening strains of “Not Ready” sound like you might be listening to a lost track from Neil Young's “Harvest”. If the textures and instrumentation don't prove my point, Embleton spells it out for you with an on-point cover of Willie Nelson's “Sad Songs and Waltzes”.
Other discernible influences I hear on this album, to name a few: Band of Horses, James Mercer of The Shins, and the album Iron and Wine made with Calexico (Just listen to the first few bars of “Leaving for Good”... see what I'm taking about?). Pretty good source inspiration to scaffold upon already solid songwriting, deft playing, and excellent engineering.
By the time the album has played out, I don't think you'll get the sense that Embleton is holding on to a childish ambition to make music for music's sake – he's living out a true calling. I've heard quite a bit of Kevin's music he's recorded before or during the production of this album, and I think it's safe to assume that he's only just begun." (Friend)