SoCal-based five-piece EMÆL (pronounced E-my-el) is enriching the lives of music lovers everywhere with their unique brand of indie rock. In fact, this is indie rock with a twist, and it's evident on their debut album Glasswork, which was just released last week.
A classically-influenced collection of 10 tracks, what really makes Glasswork stand out is that it is cello-driven. "I was raised listening to lots of different types of music; starting with a lot of world music as a kid," Emmanuel Ventura-Cruess explained to Musical Notes Global. "I picked up the cello at around 8 years old and just kept playing, studying mainly classical music (though I would learn to play Tool and Metallica by ear in middle school with my brother). I continued on the classical path throughout college but I always kind of felt like an outcast because I always loved creating my own music on the side. 'You are playing Bach like hip-hop'. My teacher in college was not a fan of my non classical distractions. In piano class I was secretly writing songs; in music history, writing lyrics. I found it so weird that musical creativity was so rarely welcomed in a place that was supposed to be ‘music school’. I’m really grateful for the classical training that I received though because of the people I’ve met and the interesting effect its given my songwriting process."
From the ethereal, laid back vibes of opening track "Yellowtail (FMK)" to the driving vocals and melodic fusion of "The Boy Who Melts the Sun," which was inspired by the myth of Icarus, Glasswork delves into deep, introspective themes that highlight the fragility of life. "The title Glasswork hit me one day when I heard a quote that went something like: 'life is fragile but beautiful like glasswork'," Ventura-Cruess revealed. "I can’t remember who said it but it resonated with me at the time because life really does seem so fragile at times. The album explores ideas of feeling trapped by one’s own body, self-doubt, and fear of failure."
The album's artwork adds a unique visual component to the project and complements the music while provoking similar feelings. "The album turned out to be very eclectic sounding, so I have had great difficulty in finding an image that I thought suited the overall sound. That was until I found a piece by French artist Juan Barquero on Instagram. I contacted him and told him what the album was about and he said that his piece actually explored many of the same feelings. So it was really cool to collaborate with such a talented artist like himself on the album artwork."
EMÆL is planning a West Coast tour this spring and are very much looking forward to performing for their ever-growing fan base. "We are currently planning a West Coast tour in May and are excited for that to happen but as of right now it’s just an awesome feeling to be done with music that we’ve dedicated our lives to for the past 3 years. We’ve had so many fans asking us for more music over this time, local and from around the world, so we’re stoked to be able to finally give them some new material! The new stuff explores some new musical areas for the band but definitely stays true to the sound that developed in our first EP."
Glasswork is available now to stream and buy on Bandcamp.
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