US - Nebraska - Full Moon 193 - 06/04/12
The Sewing Room
Edible Onion & Single Girl Married Girl Records
Ember Schrag is a returning artist here at Luna Kafé (last time around was the Jephthah's Daughter EP), and we're always
saying 'welcome back. it's always a pleasure'.
The Sewing Room includes all the four songs off the aforementioned EP, but in new, re-recorded versions. This time with an additional backing, counting a sparse
and sober arrangement of acoustic and electric guitars, bass, lap steel, piano, drums, backing vocals, viola, mandolin, clarinet, pump organ. The players count pianist
P.G. Six, viola player Jonah Sirota (from The Chiara Quartet), guitarists Alex McManus (from The Bruces, Vic Chesnutt, and Lambchop) and Philip Gayle, bass and lap steel
player Greg Talenfeld, bassist Max Johnson, drummer Gary Foster plus a few others.
The EP from two years back was sort of a taster holding demo sketches, as the songs now sound more fulfilled, not so fast, and generally more worked through. "Jephthah's
Daughter", the title track from that time, is still good, but "I Ain't a Prophet" is still the favourite track. Even though I might prefer the original. Maybe. Or maybe
not, because the lap steel is really discreetly cool. "Frauleh Jekketheka" is another fave song. This is excellent proof of Schrag's laidback and totally relaxed style.
The title track is another highlight off this album, with its cool viola. Other songs to mention: "Houston", and the closing "April Night".
If you're seeking a ballad album of substance, this could be a good place to start. Ember Schrag somehow reminds me of Norwegian artist Ane Brun, even though I prefer
the latter's creativeness and artistic angle. No offence, Ember, because your album is indeed a fine one.
Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen