OTW #465: Embers

Vast, epic rock
Embers 2.jpeg

Embers may be four unassuming guys from Manchester but they make music that could soundtrack a supernova. Late last year when Clash clapped eyes on the video for the seven-minute ‘Hollow Cage’ – filmed in an ex-monastery and containing a choir and a string quartet – gobs were truly smacked. Embers create cinematic epics that seethe with molten intent.

“We never wanted to be limited by what we could do,” guitarist Steven McInerney tells Clash over a pre-Christmas pint in a Manchester pub bristling with festive bonhomie. “We want the music to be powerful and to challenge us. There’s nothing better than playing your song in a tiny, dingy practice room and getting goosebumps.”

As a new band (Embers formed at the back end of 2011), the grandiose monastery session was created on a shoestring budget via favours from friends and contacts. “Why settle for not being able to do something when we can actually make it happen somehow?” Steven states, rather than asks.

“The reality is that creating our sound is very difficult,” admits singer and guitarist George Agan. “But we are the kind of band who pride ourselves in attempting things that are really ambitious. If it had been too easy, we wouldn’t have been satisfied with it.”

Embers kept a relatively low profile during 2012 and only played a handful of gigs (“it’s taken time to get our sound right - we have stripped down songs hundreds of times,” Steven reveals), so the public response to ‘Hollow Cage’ – and its sister video ‘Part Of The Echoes’ – took the band by surprise. “People were saying that the songs were ‘special’ and ‘euphoric’. It was a bit overwhelming,” Steven recalls. “There was an emotional response, which meant a lot to me personally. Someone said they cried watching the video.” “That was your mum,” George interjects.

And in keeping with their sound, Embers are aiming for the stratosphere. “We are writing music that we all love,” Steven says with a glint in his eye. “When we watch the greatest bands in the world like Radiohead and Arcade Fire they give you moments that send shivers down your spine. We want to recreate that ourselves – we still have a long, long way to go – but that scope and ambition excites us".

In 2013, Embers could well turn their initial smoulder into a raging sonic firestorm. “We didn’t want to wait until a second or third album before we could become an ambitious band,” George says. Tune in, turn up the volume and let Embers burn your soul.

Words by John Freeman (Follow on Twitter)

Where: Manchester
What: Vast, epic rock – each song could soundtrack a supernova.
Get 3 Songs: ‘Hollow Cage’, ‘Part Of The Echoes, ‘Tunnel Vision’.
Unique Fact: Embers initially forgot to add a shipping charge on their debut single. They received orders from New Zealand, Peru, Mexico and Australia. Embers won’t be making that mistake again.
 

Embers - Part Of The Echoes from Embers on Vimeo.

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