Emily James – “If Walls Could Talk”
We get it, we cover James a lot, but we don’t mind at all. Her pop sensibilities are as sharp as her dynamic lyrical prowess. Her ability to start with an expected piano intro before breaking into her own powerful pop sound is astounding. Lyrically, this is what the much-maligned genre is capable of. The young songwriter has been working with some major industry people and is set to have a meteoric rise in ’18, and rightfully so. Her work ethic and maturity soars past her limited experience and age. Like “Lion’s Den”, “If Walls Could Talk” is a near perfect romantic ballad that is sure to give even the most hardened listener the feels.
Embleton – “Of the Ohio”
There is a quote from Richard Rohr that says something to the effect of spirituality being a matter of what we do with our suffering. As music lovers, we know this to be painfully true. Many of our favorite artists are chronic strugglers who are intimate with grief. The music of Embleton unapologetically faces these sufferings with a sort of courageous art. After leaving Ohio for San Francisco (a move many of us in the Buckeye State only dream of), the artist went through a lifetime of change in a matter of months. Job transitions, loss of personal connections, and perhaps most devastating, debilitating vocal problems, culminated into a deeply personal set of songs. “Of the Ohio” is something of a spoken stream of consciousness put to melody, and it works. If you are a fan of Mount Eerie or Sun Kil Moon, then you will appreciate his frankness. Look for more exceptional tracks in the coming months.