EMBRACE – Embrace

Track-By-Track zum Comeback-Album der Britpop-Band…

Nach acht Jahren Stille erschien erst kürzlich das sechste Album von EMBRACE. Sänger, Gitarrist und Songwriter DANNY MCNAMARA hat für uns nicht nur exklusive Kommentare zu den Songs der ebenfalls Embrace betitelten Platte verfasst, sondern auch einen sehr persönlichen Text, der eine Perspektive auf das Album schafft, die man ohne diese Worte wohl kaum hätte gewinnen können. Hier sind Text und die Kommentare Track für Track – beides wie immer komplett ungebügelt…

The album feels like the band has come full circle to the band we were before we even got signed. The clock is ticking louder than it ever has before. Everything feels more „do or die“ now. All our original influences have floated back to the surface. I have to say that for my part, we’ve never felt more focussed or distilled. We turned our back on the glory of it all and refocussed on what got us into music in the first place. I think we’ve done it: At last we’ve made an album that is better than the first one.

If someone were to ask me for an introduction to the band, I would probably play them „All You Good Good People“ and „Ashes“ and then this entire album. It felt completely natural calling the album EMBRACE because it feels like a pretty definitive statement. A whole thing. Like after all this time we’ve finally grown into ourselves, whereas with the first album there was a real idealism. I’d just come out of a long bout of mental illness (PTSD) and everything looked so vivid, colours burned brighter and I could hear orchestras in my head. The illness I suffered left me unable to really build meaningful intimate relationships. I was in a shell living an idealistic lie. Songs were my only way to really connect, in a way they kind of saved me.

Now I am getting better and I am no longer writing from the shell, but I feel like a fish out of water. A friend of mine, who was always on one drug or the next, tried going cold turkey for a week one time. He said it was the biggest trip of all. Reality man. It fucking blows your mind if you’re not used to it. So I guess for the first time I am outside the shell staring reality in the face and any idealism or sentimentality that might have tried to sneak in before has been stamped out. Colours are not brighter anymore, I do not hear anything in my head. But the way things actually are has all these fucking layers to it that I never knew existed. I mourn the life I’ve missed till now – been in a kind of self-induced limbo, never growing up, never taking anything seriously apart from the music.

I am resolved to getting on with it now. Because life is too fucking short.

*** *** ***


”It’s nearly midnight girl when the clock strikes what do you turn back to.” – I love that line. Kind of encapsulates the feeling of been obsessed with someone who is a real Cinderella but turns into a monster and then turns you into a monster. Outer beauty and inner beauty don’t always go hand in hand. “Can’t see the future but I know it got its eye on me.”


The best guitar riff Richard has written in ages. It has a Johnny Marr feel to it, but it’s unmistakably our Richard. In this song I talk about the “400 tricks/blows” which is a French saying. It basically means that if you have tried all the devils 400 tricks then you can say you have lived a full and adventurous life. It is about sowing your wild oats.


Richard brought this in as a near finished recording. It was the song that set the bar for the rest of the album. „The snow on the screen we’re going light speed tonight, Like Bonnie and Clyde except we dont die“ – it’s an image from those sci-fi movies where the stars whizz by like snow on the screen. To say we have argued over this song would be an understatement. I guess you know you have got a good one when that happens because everyone gets really precious about it. Richard got his own way pretty much I’d say, though he will probably tell you otherwise.


Probably the best thing I’ve written since the first album. It’s kind of the other bookend to „Retread“ from the first album. If that was at the start of the journey, this feels like the end. When you are open about your weaknesses, it inspires others to be open about theirs.


Again the theme of obsessive love comes up. As a narcissist you build a shell as a defence mechanism at a very young age and then hide in it and put a strong protector outside the shell to stop anyone from getting in. It’s brought with it a lot of advantages: I could be mercilessly self serving and show no remorse, not allow anything to get in my way like some kind of Psycho with a one way ticket to nowhere. But the downside of it was I shut out and hurt those who loved me the most. “You smashed the glass and set me free … “ is about a girl who made me see things how they really were for the first time. It was too late for us but hopefully not for her and hopefully not for me.


The idea that a person whose heart has already been broken in two gets it broken in two again.


I wrote the verse for this about 17 years ago. It took me until now to get a chorus. Writing songs can be like being in limbo sometimes. “When I was 6 the world looked on at 60 miles an hour I’d run. I used to believe I was the 6 million dollar man and I could run at 60 mph. I know it sounds silly now, but I used to live at the top of a long hill and in the morning I would run to school and the strides would get wider and wider as the sleep left my legs. It really felt like no one could run faster.


”The hurts and the cuts are all valuable lessons when you turn on yourself and you’re picking your weapons” – Richard wanted us to create a John Cooper Clarke style rant. It’s about PTSD which I had from 19 to 22 – basically the worst things happening to you are often self-generated in some way. When you are fighting yourself you can’t win. It’s like you can’t beat yourself at noughts and crosses because you know what your next move is. The tragedy is when your defences start hurting those around you. I felt I needed to be open about it. If there had been someone talking about PTSD in NME when I was 19, I might not have gone through 3 years of hell because I wouldn’t have felt like I was on my own.


”Love is better when you’re blind and you can’t see the cracks. The winner of the rat race is still a rat”… ha ha. “The web you weave unravels itself.”


Again Richard brought this one to the band almost finished. I almost fell of my chair when I heard it. It’s basically about agoraphobia. Richard practically lives in the studio which is attached to his house via an internal corridor. He doesn’t even have to go out. He’s so focussed on the music and his family that Muhammed Ali would have to make a comeback to get him to leave the house sometimes. He walks around in slacks and slippers tapping rhythms everywhere he stops. Fortunately, I live there as well at the moment so it is not too bad. Or it’s really bad depending on your point of view.

(Cooking Vinyl (Indigo))
VÖ: 02.05.2014


Autor: [EMAIL=friedrich.reip@popmonitor.de?Subject=Kontakt von der Website]Friedrich Reip[/EMAIL]