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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ember Schrag - The Sewing Room

The Sewing Room is a full length album due out on July 10th of this year, and available now for pre-order (only $12) from Edible Onion Records. It is a beautiful, folksy album, that shows off the gorgeous voice of Ember Schrag through twelve haunting ballads. The first 100 copies are in handmade books that are so ridiculously cool that it makes you wonder why more albums aren't made like this.

The tempo is slow and the mood is a little dark, but not depressingly so. Slightly unsettling ballads that are both vivid recollections, but at the same time are coyly vague about just what exactly is going on. She doesn't spoon-feed the listener her thoughts or emotions; she forces the listener to make conclusions on their own, to think and imagine and decode the songs purpose. With each listen, you will hear something different that wrinkles what you thought previously. That's a wonderful talent to have, and Schrag performs it skillfully.

Schrag's voice is... enchanting. It's sweetly soft, incredibly rich, adorably simple, and cunningly complicated.

Within Ember Schrag's The Sewing Room, each song tells it's own story, and each sounds poignant and personal; telling tales of love, loss, wonder, and woe. It's worth mentioning that while the songs all sound similar to each other, none of them sound the same; each is obviously unique. That's rare these days where many bands and singers and songwriters pick a sound they are comfortable with and stick to it completely, to the point that all their songs sound the same and therefore disposable.

Also impressive is that the songs range in time from 1:42 to just over 4 minutes, with most running around 3 - 3:30. Unlike many other indie singer/songwriters, Schrag doesn't give in to creating overblown, long-winded, increasingly boring 5 minute songs in order to appease her own ego. While her voice is certainly what takes center-stage on the record, the backing music provided by an apparently rotating group of musicians (P.G. Six, Jonah Sirota (The Chiara Quartet), Amy Denio, and Alex McManus (The Bruces, Vic Chesnutt, Lambchop), Philip Gayle, Jay Kreimer, Max Johnson, and Gary Foster) is given ample opportunities to shine.

You can visit Ember Schrag's official website here
Or Awesome indie label, Edible Onion, here

Here is the track list, with a few links to some downloadable content.

01. Jephthah's Daughter [mp3]
02. Sutherland [mp3]
03. My Brothers Men
04. La Maria
05. I Ain't a Prophet
06. In the Alley
07. Frauleh Jekketheka
08. The Sewing Room
09. Dark Lion Lover
10. Your Words
11. Houston [mp3]
12. April Night

And here is a live video!

[edited by Michelle Rucker]
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