There are some songs that put you back into the time a place you first heard them. The first time I heard Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was on my father’s turn table when I was in the eighth grade. I can still see the needle spinning in the grooves perplexing me on many levels. The first time I heard Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls On Parade was on an unmarked cassette tape a friend had given me because we were too young to purchase anything with a parental advisory sticker (which made us want it so much more). I remember tiptoeing around with my walkman’s fuzzy headphones scratching my ears, and although I didn’t completely understand Zach De La Rocha, I could feel he would approve of my rebellious actions.
Please don’t think I am in anyway trying to connect Aaron Embry’s debut album Tiny Prayer’s to either Queen, Rage Against the Machine, or adolescence. Although, if anyone finds an artist who can complete such a task please let me know. My point is that Tiny Prayer’s is the quintessential fall album. Whenever I hear anything else from Aaron Embry, and I’m sure I will, I will think of fall leaves floating on the calm cool breeze. I will think of the smell that for some reason already partially belongs to football season, school supplies, and colors that represent the Houston Astros jersey’s circa 1975.
Tiny Prayer’s begins with the soothing lullaby: Moon Of the Day Lit Sky. Embry recalls writing most of the lyrics on the spot in an attempt to distract his three year old daughter who has having a fit in her car seat on the way to the zoo. Pointing out the waxing moon to his waning daughter Embry sings, “I love to see the Moon on a day lit sky/like a pearl up in the blue/singing please don’t cry!”
What is mostly an obvious collection of fragile harmonies and delicate melodies Embry challenges the listener to pinpoint his mood. Is he singing from a place of childish joy or aged remorse? It’s as elusive as the Higgs particle or evoking sarcasm in a text message. Especially on Your Heart and Mine, where Embry compares the rise and fall of Rome to the circular nature of love and heart break with a slight smile crocheting across his lips. I suggest you listen to this album on your turn table or through your fuzzy headphones while your rake leaves or bust out the long underwear. Aaron Embry is here and he brought fall with him.