The Best Records of 2014 So Far: Embrace – Refugees EP

A Tale of Two Bands…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… In 2000, a young Chris Martin must have been feeling good about life. After his band Coldplay had released three EPs without troubling the charts, latest single “Shiver” had broken the top 40. Moreover, Coldplay had been picked to support popular West Yorkshire band Embrace, who were riding the crest of a wave of success after their debut single – 1997’s “All You Good Good People” had propelled their debut album “The Good Will Out” to number one on the album chart and follow up “Drawn From Memory” into the top ten. For Embrace, success was here today. For Chris Martin, success was just around the corner…

In 2004, Chris Martin must have been feeling good about life. The last year had seen his band sell out three shows at London’s massive Earls Court Arena, Coldplay had won two Brit Awards, and this year, his latest hit was in the top ten and the accompanying album was at number one in the album charts. The only difference to 2003 was this was not a song written for Coldplay. The song was “Gravity” and Martin had written it for Embrace, with whom he’d become friends after that 2000 tour. Embrace and Coldplay were sharing success together. And then there was the small matter of that pretty Hollywood film star and her “British men never chat me up” message…

In 2006, Embrace scored their third number one album in the UK, “This New Day”. The single, Nature’s Law went to #2. Then, in October of that year Coldplay began recording Viva La Vida which would dominate airwaves and concert stadiums across the world. In the meantime, nothing more was heard from Embrace for eight years..

Embrace Refugees EP cover

But now, in 2014, it appears Chris Martin is feeling good about life once more. There’s a spring in his step. All things considered of course. There’s that whole “conscious uncoupling” thing, naturally, and swarms of tabloid press to worry about, who have always been about as welcome in the Martin household as bubonic plague. But these are minor irritations for a newly single man-about-town in possession of a large fortune. Coldplay’s new single “Magic” is out, sure. But even that is not why Martin is feeling good. He’s feeling chipper because he has heard the new Refugees EP by Embrace, and has given it his seal of approval. He may even be feeling a tad jealous he didn’t write it for the new Coldplay album… According to singer Danny McNamara on the XFM breakfast show Martin “was buzzing about it all, which is great because, obviously, he’s done alright for himself.”

Martin is spot on. Although called the Refugee EP after the opening track, this four song EP might have been named after any of the tracks. Refugee is a three part epic, “Chameleon” builds to a strong chorus and crashing drums and “Decades” is the kind of song that would now make Bono weep. The EP is rounded off with the more sensitive “Bullets”. Four songs and all belters.

For Embrace, the new EP and forthcoming album might just be a far, far better thing that they do, than they have ever done…



Categories: Indie

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Royal Blood brought me here (googling where to find their EP). I must say, it’s so refreshing to find a blog where I can find different artists and not the typical new/indie/hipster bands everyone raves about.

    I have to do the groupie fanboi thing though, I can’t stop and here I go:
    Please give “The Autumn Defense”‘s album (“Fifth”) a spin if you haven’t. It came out in January and it’s holding up to be my best album of the year. The band is made up of 1/3 of Wilco and the only “downside” to it is that it is an easy-listening record. Pure 70’s soft-rock AM Radio goodness. It’s a fucking beauty.

    Look forward to your next entries.

    Like

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