Kind words from my friend, Andy / by Embleton

This album did me well, 

"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 an 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."

As told by Andy on his iTunes review of the album.