Lead singer and primary songwriter, Michael “Emby” Alexander, and his band are getting ready to cough up a new set of singles “Up in the Air” b/w “Morality of Accuracy in Photojournalism,” evincing a fun size glimpse of what’s to come on the upcoming album, SOARS ERA, the followup to 2019’s ebullient, psychedelic pop treatment, Cactus Candy; but if it’s any indication of what SOARS ERA has to offer, Alexander has hit the mark, without equivocation.
“Up in the Air” begets a jubilant celebration, adorned with squiggly, and steadily phasing synth stabs, followed by bracing guitars, subtle shrieks of joy, stampeding drum fills and Alexander’s life-affirming vocals. “‘Up in the Air’ is my attempt to write a positive or uplifting song, despite the odds,” says Alexander. “Your perspective changes your mood, or how you deal with any problems in life, and just about anything you look at has a positive or negative side to it. So, this song sort of marvels at the ability to change one’s outlook, in order to change everything.”
Exhibiting a wealth of kidlike curiosity and an exuberant imagination, Alexander takes advantage of his ability to capture unadulterated joy (but only when he remembers to turn the camera on), as evidenced by tour footage of misc. skylarking; all of which is ripped from a compilation of clips, smashed together for the official “Arabesque (Wet Rusting God)” video, and shot on his age old Hi8 video camera (#nofilter). Another example of Alexander’s spur-of-the-moment whimsy can be found on his SoFar Sounds performance in hometown, Tucson, Arizona, wherein he encourages the audience to take part in the “Emby echo.”
Alexander beckons with colorful imagery and spirited coos, neighboring twinkling piano samples, phantasmagoric drum fills and thrashing guitar melodies with various field recordings of trains whizzing by and apparently, preordained banter and shuffling, provided by Avey Tare on “Morality of Accuracy in Photojournalism.”
“I’ve begun this guerilla-style method of getting these samples from people I like,” says Alexander. “I hope they don’t feel ambushed; it’s all part of my weird little art project. He goes on to explain: after the show in Tucson, I had asked Portner if he could make some sounds, as I approached him, nervously, in the alleyway, to which he graciously replied: ‘I don’t know what I can do on the spot - I guess I’ll just make some noise,’ and what you hear is him sort of kicking the ground, along