Hot on the heels of their recent double A side, Embers is Devon based indie-folk band Velvet & Stone's follow up to 2016's acclaimed The Storm. Velvet & Stone have been picking up rave reviews both for their recordings and their live gigs, and these are richly deserved. Their line up may have gone through some changes, but what hasn't changed is their captivating and hauntingly beautiful songs.
The central songs on the EP are the two from the single, and they haven't lost any of their warmth and splendour in the weeks since that release. Raise Your Ghosts is the showier of the two, with its driving beat and haunting violin splicing through the song. It's an upbeat track guaranteed to leave you with a warm glow and a sense of sanguinity. The highlight though is Embers, which is a lower key track with delicate piano and violin perfectly emphasizing Lara Snowdon's raw and fragile vocals performance. It's a song you'll keep coming back to time and time again, and is certainly one of my favourites of the year.
Both the songs that appear here for the first time are worthy additions. Ragged Wood is a wonderful way to open the record, stealthily creeping through your ears and into your brain. Trouble is a slight step away from their folk roots into something more contemporary, and lifts you up as it builds to a wondrous climax.
The only negative with this release is that it is far too short. If the old adage is always leave the audience wanting more, then Velvet & Stone have excelled themselves. Until we have a full album however, this EP is going to get plenty of plays, and if these four songs don't boost their profile then there is just no justice. Embers is a truly wonderful EP, and I simply cannot recommend it highly enough.
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