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Emporium - Silver Brainwaves

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 23 / 7 / 2011

Emporium - Silver Brainwaves
Label: Platform Whimsical
Format: CD


Sublime 1960's-influenced pop on reissue of 2005 fourth album from Edinburgh-based band, Emporium

'Silver Brainwaves', the inspired 2005 album from the Edinburgh based band Emporium, has just been re-released. Formed in 1998, Emporium centres on the songwriting of singer Ewan McKenzie. 'Silver Brainwaves', the band’s fourth studio effort is melodic pop, shimmering and engaging, exploring a similar direction to the work of bands like the High Llamas. The song 'The Feeling' is warm and welcoming, very nostalgic and very 1960s, echoing the musical beauty of that classic era. The lyric expresses mixed emotions: “Something unseen is tugging at me… the feeling is dying.” Cautious optimism nevertheless accompanies an upbeat sound: “We’re looking for better days.” 'Dice Man' explores a repeated theme of luck on the album: “Go with the flow… Any way that you play, you just can’t lose.” Meanwhile, the sound, with lovely harmonies and layered instrumentation, brings to mind the influence of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. 'Wasted' expresses hints of melancholy, while 'Blackened Blue” is moody and thought provoking. 'Mind Games' is likewise a sombre tune, with distinctive piano playing. The lyric reflects the tone: “Still the storm’s inside my head/It will linger till I’m dead.” Emporium’s work has received some notable critical acclaim and their songs are at once sun-soaked, trippy and enchanting. Like the High Llamas, their music is more indicative of the 1960s and California than either the current charts or their U.K. home. 'Wild Star' tells the story of a shining girl who, burning brightly, “torched the heavens every night.” 'Mystic Angela' is distinctive psychedelic-tinged pop with flowing instrumentation. The band meanwhile captures a healthy touch of magic in the sound they create. 'Sixes and Sevens' is the mellifluous closer, returning to the subject of luck: “You can rest in heaven/You can toast in hell/It’s all sixes and sevens/How we know it so well.” In the end, 'Silver Brainwaves' is a novel effort from Emporium and a worthy re-release.

Track Listing:-
1 Intro
2 The Feeling
3 Dice Man
4 Wasted
5 Blackened Blue
6 Whimsical Theme
7 Mind Games
8 Wild Star
9 Rock for Sand
10 Fragments of Knowledge
11 Mystic Angela
12 Baby Invisible
13 Sixes and Sevens

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The Afterlife (2013)
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