Ember | Spark

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Recommended if You Like
Indigo Girls Simon & Garfunkel The Be Good Tanyas

Album Links
Ember on Myspace Ember Ember live at de Oude Remise, in the north of Holland PayPlay GreatIndieMusic Apple iTunes Emusic Tradebit

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Great Britain / UK

Other Genres You Will Love
Folk: Modern Folk World: Celtic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Spark

by Ember

Warm original acoustic songs with poetic lyrics, reminiscent of the Be Good Tanyas and Simon and Garfunkel. Ember are loved for their close harmonies and melodious arrangements on Celtic fiddle, American folky guitar and ethereal cello and harp.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Ocean
4:52 $0.99
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2. Train of Disdain
3:28 $0.99
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3. Soil
3:30 $0.99
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4. Sospan Fach
1:48 $0.99
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5. Afon Dyfi Lullaby / Sleep Soond I'da Mornin'
4:14 $0.99
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6. Blackhole Blues
4:51 $0.99
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7. Abundance Blues
3:52 $0.99
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8. Everything Must End
3:26 $0.99
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9. When Spring Comes
4:02 $0.99
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10. Profile
2:46 $0.99
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11. Chandeliers
1:44 $0.99
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12. Smoking Roses
3:26 $0.99
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13. Mystery
13:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Ember is an exciting, young duo with a love of music and travel. Over the last five years they have journeyed and played in Spain, Ireland, Holland, Wales, Mexico and the Western U.S., often allowing the wind to blow them where it will, other times settling down for a few months to focus on crafting new tunes. The simple yet moving music grows up around the miraculous blending of two very different voices: that of Welsh songstress Emily Williams, who also soars through the mix with her violin, and sets up chunky rhythms with her nylon-strung, and that of Rebecca Sullivan of Utah, who fingerpicks a sparkling steel-strung, and breaks out the harmonica for a song or two.

Whenever possible, the duo call on Welsh cellist Emma Bryden, who brings depth to the music with her beautiful, moody strings.

NetRhythms Review, March 2006:
"Ember's previous album 'Land Under Water' has remained a firm favourite of mine ever since getting it a couple of years ago, and one of the many pleasant surprises in first listening to 'Spark' was to find that I liked this even more. Ember's third album sees them clearly going from strength to strength.

This is a tremendously impressive and enjoyable album. As before, the content is primarily songs written by the two main members - Emily Williams and Rebecca Sullivan. Their songs are consistently excellent and sometimes profoundly so, and these latest ones are some of their best to date, bursting with originality, deep emotions and fun. The beauty is not only in the songs themselves but also in the detail of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation, every bit of which seems to play a vital part in conveying the emotion of the song. There is no superfluous or mushy padding - everything is precise and essential.

Sometimes the two voices are working in conventional vocal harmony, notably in the excellent rendition of the traditional song 'Sospan Fach' as well as in sensitively selected parts of their original songs, and at other times they are each doing their own thing in a more free-form, intuitive way, interacting in a way that is 100% effective and that works according to the magical unknowns of music rather than the formal rules and structures.

As regards objective judgements on quality of vocals, instrumentation and musical arrangement this album is second to none, but most important of all is the abilty of the music and words to strike the heart and bring out the listener's emotions, from sadness to joy and laughter. This ability is a rarer quality still, and the only one that counts at the end of the day.

"Spark" is such a suitable title, thinking of the musical electricity that is so evident between the two individuals and the vital spark that is ever present".
--Written by Ian Gulley - gwerinABERfolk
http://www.netrhythms.com/reviews.html#ember

"Musically this is the finished article -- justifying the whole folk movement."
Ian Davison, Lomond Folk Festival, July '05

"Multi-instrumental virtuosity. . ."
Noiseville, Summer '04

"Songs that stay in your head for days because of their melodic charm."
Oor Magazine, Netherlands, January '03

"Simply beautiful, soul-stirring music."
Tivy-Side, Wales, November '03

"Folk with a sexy makeover."
Noiseville Magazine, Wales, Summer '03

"an enchanting discovery . . .talented musicians"
Women In Tune festival newsletter, Wales, Autumn '03

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Reviews


to write a review

Taplas Magazine

Original, off-the-wall and highly individual songs
Machynlleth duo Ember - Emily Williams and American Rebecca Sullivan - who like The Incredible String Band, Amazing Blondel, Tir Na Nog and Tyrannosaurus Rex, come from a proud line of quirky songwriters. They turn out original, off-the-wall and highly individual songs with only the guitar and fiddle (bar one or two other instruments) for accompaniment, and just as you were wishing they'd put a stop to those vocal tricks that resemble a switchback ride, they suddenly swoop down to meltingly fine harmony lines that turn your knees to jelly. They call in cellist, harper and vocalist Emma Bryden to add subtle touches, but the secret of a well-produced record is that you don't notice the differences - it just sounds more satisfying. And this is a very well-produced CD indeed. The girls are branching out and learning from a quiet performance style that is as soothing as Welsh summer vistas - but, like the mountain peaks, it can be hard, rugged, breathtaking and exhilarating. Oh - the bonus track is well worth the wait!
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Folk Roundabout

Incredible voices and boldly conceived harmonies
This is embarrassing!… Over the past five years the unique acoustic magic of this young Welsh-American duo has delighted audiences worldwide and caused a stir at many UK festivals – and yet every time I’ve managed to miss them! Now at last I’ve received this CD, their third, for review, and it’s made me even more impatient to catch them in action. Emily Williams (Spanish guitar, violin) hails from Machynlleth, and Rebecca Sullivan (steel-strung guitar) from Utah; both have strikingly different singing voices, which complement each other yet also blend curiously well: what a discovery! Ember’s music has been described as contemporary folk with an edge, and comparisons with Pooka, Indigo Girls, Abbie Lathe, Be Good Tanyas, Sun Also Rises and Roches (and that’s just the girls!) aren’t misplaced. It’s not “easy” music, often strange and wayward-sounding, but it’s at the same time it’s accessible and highly captivating; although it may take a while to reveal the full extent of its charms, it’s worth persevering. Though the instrumental palette be lean and sparse, every note, strum and stroke proves essential to the arrangement, as foil for the girls’ incredible voices and their boldly conceived harmonies that are more intuitive than they are “conventionally” constructed (the exception being a brief but attractive version of the traditional Sospan Fach). Sometimes, as on Soil, Afon Dyfi Lulllaby and Everything Must End, the effect is both spine-chillingly warm and glacial, a mix of emotional temperatures I can’t begin to explain – just listen and let the music permeate your soul! The songwriting is shared with an almost maddening equality between Emily and Rebecca, and both writers convey an acute sensitiveness and depth to their feelings that belies their often whimsical humour (which strikes me as somewhat similar to early ISB if not quite as surreal). Musically speaking, it’s Rebecca’s songs that display references apertaining to a wider stylistic ambit, with western-swing (Train Of Disdain) and smoochy jazziness (Abundance Blues, Profile) proving grist to her mill. There are times when I felt that the best songs were cluttered around the first two-thirds of the CD, but on further plays I still couldn’t find any weak tracks; it’s all relative, I suppose… I still want to hear more of this sparky and original duo while the Embers glow bright – and so will you I suspect.
Read more...

NetRhythms, Ian Gulley of gwerinABERfolk

"Spark" is such a suitable title, thinking of the musical electricity that is so
This is a tremendously impressive and enjoyable album. As before, the content is primarily songs written by the two main members - Emily Williams and Rebecca Sullivan. Their songs are consistently excellent and sometimes profoundly so, and these latest ones are some of their best to date, bursting with originality, deep emotions and fun. The beauty is not only in the songs themselves but also in the detail of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation, every bit of which seems to play a vital part in conveying the emotion of the song. There is no superfluous or mushy padding - everything is precise and essential. . .
As regards objective judgements on quality of vocals, instrumentation and musical arrangement this album is second to none, but most important of all is the abilty of the music and words to strike the heart and bring out the listener's emotions, from sadness to joy and laughter. This ability is a rarer quality still, and the only one that counts at the end of the day.

"Spark" is such a suitable title, thinking of the musical electricity that is so evident between the two individuals and the vital spark that is ever present".
Read more...

D Bamford

Fantastic
Sublime music and brilliant songs. Harmonies so perfect they'll make you weep. A duo to rival any in the music business. It's only a matter of time before they take off. Their new album 'open all the doors' is just as striking!
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Shirley Edwards

Restores your faith in music
I am not a muscian, nor can I read a note of music. But I now a great cd when I hear it and I can promise you - you will want to play this over and over. Well done girls !!!
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Gert van den Hof

Sparkling and freshing
This cd is just as I expected: delightful, sparkling, new stuff and familiar songs. I love the sospan fach interpretation. I'm glad to have bought this cd after I have seen you in Zwammerdam, The Netherlands
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