The brother of actor Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait), Aaron Embry took his sweet time making his solo debut. The 36-year-old musician paid his dues as a sideman for an impressively diverse range of clients, including Daniel Lanois, Elliott Smith and Emmylou Harris. He toured as keyboard player with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes and opened for Mumford & Sons earlier this year. Now he takes center stage on Tiny Prayers, which is showy in the least showy way possible. Striking a tone of folksy melancholy, Embry does a lot with just a few warmly familiar elements: gently plaintive vocals, keening harmonica wheezes, precisely plucked guitar and mandolin and flourishes of piano. On each song, he finds new ways to combine these instruments, constantly assigning them new roles in the production. Punctuated by distant piano chords, “No Go” possesses a stately ambience that recalls countrypolitan producer Owen Bradley, while a zig-zagging zither lends “When All Is Gone” its barely contained nervous energy. Graduating from side- to frontman, Embry has created an album that inventive yet intimate, bold yet eloquently soft-spoken.
By Dan Hyman on 05.24.12 in Reviews
It'd have been easier to dismiss Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros as another flash-in-the-pan, overhyped indie act — destined to overstay their welcome on the festival circuit and flame out into nonexistence....
By Robert Ham on 02.25.15 in Features
From Shania Twain to Patrick Wolf, these musicians couldn't leave well enough alone and rerecorded their work.
By Jewly Hight on 02.23.15 in Features
"I take the country songs, because they're the only ones left now with any real meaning, and I redo them more R
By Mary Kinney on 02.06.15 in Features
For all of NYC's history of folk music, a giant metropolitan city with no recent rural history to speak of is an odd place for a comeback to take place.