A few months back we were introduced to Alabama’s Embr and their album 1823 which was an instant hit at Shaman HQ, if you missed it, we urge you to read Lee B’s review then go check it out. But hang on, don’t be so eager to click away, as the band are also preparing to release a new EP Idolatry, but this time not of original material, but cover’s of four grunge classics, that have a personal connection to each of the members.
With Lee B being a superfan, you might have noticed we published his review earlier today for the EP, and you’re itching to hear it. Well wait no more as we can now bring you the, somewhat creepy, video for vocalist Crystal’s choice – Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box, which Lee comments on ‘Embr have effectively rewritten it as only they know how, it’s been stripped back, slowed down, and reanimated at a far more haunting pace’.
What more is there to add, now click play below…
More On Embr & ‘Idolatry’
2020 has been a very strange, depressing, challenging and odd year for many around the globe. It’s been filled with doubt and worry about the future as much as it has been dripping with uncertainty. To weather the storm, Embr have been crammed in the basement collaborating and working on new ideas and projects. One of which, we’re excited to announce now.
Embr are set to release a 4 song EP on December 4th (just 5 months after their debut full-length on New Heavy Sounds). It was recorded in August 2020 at Ledbelly Sound in Dawsonville, Georgia, by Matt Washburn (Mastodon, Royal Thunder, Artimus Pyledriver).
For this EP release, each member of Embr was tasked with choosing a song from the grunge era to cover. As an added element to the criteria, the songs had to pay tribute to a deceased icon. The EP is named Idolatry.
We hope everyone enjoys this release as much as we enjoyed reimagining and recording it. If you are a fan of grunge (as we are), we hope this release will add a note of positivity to 2020’s close.
Below you can read each member’s reason for choosing their song.
Stone Temple Pilots ‘Down’ – Mark Buchanan (Guitar)
I’ve wanted to cover a Stone Temple Pilots song for as long I can remember. They have always been a great inspiration to me and have influenced my style in many ways. To this day, I still have the Corealbum in very heavy rotation. I chose the song Down from their album No.4. Mainly, because it has a sludgy feel that I thought meshed really well with the Embr sound. It also has a great guitar solo in it, which was fun to record because that’s something you typically wouldn’t hear in an Embr song.
Nirvana ‘Heart Shaped Box’ – Crystal Bigelow (Vocals)
I decided on Heart Shaped Box. I have always been a big fan of Kurt Cobain and the music of Nirvana has always spoken to me. Everything from Bleach to In Utero is classic. I loved the music but Kurt as a person has always been my biggest draw to the band. His drive, his ambition and his creativeness intrigued me. From what I have seen and read, I also identify with Kurt on being a bit shy and an introverted person. I think that this particular song (Heart Shaped Box) is great and embodies everything I liked about Kurt and the band Nirvana. On a side note, it’s also the last song that Kurt performed live in 1994. I thought it would be great for Embr to make our own and a nice tribute in remembrance of him and the legendary band Nirvana.
Alice In Chains ‘Junkhead’ – Eric Bigelow (Drums)
Looking back, I remember borrowing the album Dirt back in 92’, 93’ from a buddy of mine. He was older and more in tune with music than I was at the time. I was hooked on the Dirt album pretty much from the start of Them Bones. I asked him to record me a tape, I think I said ‘Dude, throw it on a Memorex for me!’. Once I had that ripped tape I pretty much listened to Dirt constantly. On my Walkman, on my boombox etc……….There were so many great songs on that album. Rain When I Die, Rooster, Godsmack, Hate To Feel, the album is stellar from front to back – period. My favorite on the album has always been Junkhead. The riff (to me) is heavy as hell, it’s gnarly, it’s got a certain grit to it, an uneasy feel. The vocals are on point and (in retrospect) the song is quite ominous, really. The lyrics tell a story of a certain lifestyle and the theme can be quite depressing now, in the present, as we all know what happened to Layne. AIC is one of my favorite bands and always will be. I thought this would be a worthy tribute as I (personally) haven’t heard it covered a lot.
Soundgarden ‘Mailman’ – Alan Light (Bass)
Chris Cornell said Mailman is, ‘a narrative coming from a U.S. postal service worker.’ He also points out, ‘They do their job wonderfully. They wear little shorts in the summer, they’re courteous, they’re careful, they’re nice to dogs, and then every once in a while they go into a post office and shoot every single co-worker they ever met. Other than that, though, their jobs are done in exemplary fashion.’ I feel Cornell’s take in Mailman can be applied to many others this year. Early 2020 everyone was simply going about their business and doing their jobs. Then things changed. A lot of folks lives have been turned upside down. Possibly for no good reason. It’s maddening and I equate it to Cornell’s take on Mailman and that’s why I chose it.Embr and their grunge tribute Idolatry will be released independently tomorrow, 4th December.
Embr and their grunge tribute Idolatry will be released independently tomorrow, 4th December.