As a (not proud) member of Gen-Z, one of my favorite adjectives to describe music is “fire”. For example, “That bass line is fire.” Now, where there is fire, there are embers – and this particular singer-songwriter harnesses both of those things.
Born and raised in a small town in Germany, Max Embers is an internationally renowned songwriter. Before graduating high school, Embers won the jugend musiziert (roughly translated to “youth making music”) competition; then, attending Berklee College of Music, he was given opportunities to perform with artists like Harry Belafonte and Paula Cole. More recently in his career, Embers appeared on NBC’s Songland, where he worked with prominent artists, including John Legend and Ryan Tedder.
Since his time on Songland and moving to Los Angeles, Embers has collaborated with famed pop artists such as Joji and Noah Cyrus, earning his place as a notable songwriter and producer. His talent speaks through his accomplishments – with over five million streams on his Spotify, Embers’ own music is not something you want to miss. As luck would have it, his most recent singles are definitely fire – and the flames are certain to catch your attention.
Embers’ new single, “got to get you”, was released June 4th, offering a bit of a contrast to his prior release, “wildest dreams”. Injected with energy, “got to get you” is a lighthearted, upbeat reflection on growing up. The simple instrumentation of the verses is made full by subtlety placed piano riffs and harmonizing guitars in the periphery, which is a beautiful complement to the chorus, where all the song’s pieces come together.
With an easy-going feeling, Embers sings about finding your sense of self as you grow and change; a somewhat weighty, introspective topic is made palatable by Embers’ quintessential indie-pop voice and thoughtful composition. The song is proof that soul-searching in hopes to be the most authentic version of yourself is worth the time; the writing, both musically and lyrically is some of Embers’ best work.
“wildest dreams”, is a similar display of Embers’ songwriting chops, in a dreamy, orchestral context. Harmonies and a finger-picked guitar come together to build a full soundscape; the song sounds like what would be playing in a dreamland. It is also well suited to a natural setting, whether that be at the beach or in the mountains. The lyrics take you to a place that, regardless of where you are, will leave you in a state of wonder.
Although the two singles have very different vibes, the consistencies in instrumentation and vocal style show that they are pieces of a puzzle, which will be completed with the release of his upcoming record, idyllwild. In addition to the musical motifs and themes written into the project, each song has an accompanying music video, which are Embers’ visual interpretations of the songs. The “got to get you” video, and “wildest dreams” video are both shot in a video diary style, with the former being a darker, gloomier aesthetic than the latter.
Written over the course of a solo writing retreat, idyllwild is the culmination of Embers’ seemingly endless inspiration. With the EP’s second single being as endearing as the first, it’s hard not to be excited for the whole collection. While the singer-songwriter does not have future dates on the book, Embers did perform a few shows in May- but hope is not lost on hearing his new material live, and soon.
While we wait to see Max Embers at various venues, we can await his new music which is on the horizon. idyllwild is slated to release sometime in July, and it’s definitely something worth marking on your calendars.