“Tiny Prayers” by Aaron Embry

California native Aaron Embry is gearing up to release his first solo album Tiny Prayers on September 18, 2012. Embry is an American songwriter and record producer that comes from a group of creatively focused individuals. The son of screenwriter and talent manager Karen Embry and brother of actor Ethan Embry and photographer Kessia Embry, he has begun to make a name for himself by recording and performing with many big artists. In the past, Embry has worked and collaborated with Daniel Lanois, Jane’s Addiction, Elliott Smith, and many others.

Tiny Prayers opens with a soft harmonica intro to “Moon Of The Daylit Sky.” His vocals are soft; Embry is vulnerable at the mic as he softly sings, “You know it is you/It’s you who put the moon in the daylit sky.” Also on the record is “Raven’s Song,” a track that opens with a piano melody by Embry. As a man of many instrumental talents, Embry displays them all at one point or another in the album. I think the album close beautifully with the last track “Your Heart and Mine” – Embry opens with soft acoustic chords, he laughs as he sings, “I will break your heart/And you will break my heart/And we’ll all be broken hearts.”

Parts of Tiny Prayers demos were recorded on smart phones while Embry was writing in early 2011. He said, “My phone recorded audio with a dandy stereo-mic accessory by Blue.” The album flows from track to track pretty seamlessly but may bore some listeners with its lack of diversity. As I went through the album, I was so surprised when I got to the end because I didn’t realize that ten tracks had already gone by. It’s a quick listen and a quick insight into who Embry is as a solo artist. There is a bonus b-side of the song “No Go” that musicians Ryan Feves and Danny Frankel make guest appearances on. With Feves on upright bass and Frankel on drums, Embry provides piano-like vocals and the track was produced by the famed Woody Jackson.

Aside from his solo work, Embry has been involved in several other projects. Embry is also the leader of Amnion, an indie-rock group that released their debut album in 2008. In 2009, Embry wrote the original score to a silent short film: Patriotism by Yukio Mishima. He also took on the role of producer for Long Beach-based band Avi Buffalo. Later in 2010, Embry joined Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as a member of their touring band as a pianist.

Embry is very proud of this record, as he should be; he said on his website’s blog, “When we first started recording it there was an awkward, eerie feeling to hearing the playback.” Embry goes on to explain that by the end it was just pure fun and joy to hear the whole thing complete. Embry is definitely on his way, being fresh off of the Newport Folk Festival experience – I think we might see Embry there some day. He would fit in perfectly with his harmonica and guitar in hand, especially with his collaborative past. Newport is a big proponent of artist collaborations and we’ll keep our eyes out to see if Embry might be on that scene next.

By Jeeyoon Kim

If you liked this, check out:
“Here” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
“One Lovely Day” by Citizen Cope

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