Rock/worship band, The Ember Days, recently released their 5 song Ep,"Finger Painting", on Come&Live!. I first discovered this band, who hails from New Zealand, when they were opening for Showbread in the summer of 2008. Standing in the front row of Fuel Cafe in Humble,Tx, I was so taken by their music. The way they fused the rock element with worshipful lyrics, their often ethereal sound (somewhat reminiscent of Eisley), and the beautiful voice of singer/keyboardist, Janell Belcher. Needless to say, I've been hooked ever since. I purchased the "Finger Painting" EP a couple weeks ago and was surprised to find that it's primarily an instrumental, with only two songs containing vocals. But it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Their live show features a lot instrumental parts so this seems like an extension of that. I read somewhere that they recorded this EP with the idea of it being used in people's prayer and worship time with God. And it feels perfect for that!
It opens with the instrumental entitled, "Hope". The song starts with a soft guitar riff, the tempo picks up with a pounding drum in the background. The dynamic sound of this song is a perfect way to start this EP, it makes you feel that something special is happening here. In the song "It Is Well", we get to hear some of Janell's lovely vocals, as well as Jason Belcher's soft background vocals. At first I thought this was a remake of the old hymn "It Is Well With My Soul", but it's actually an original, just using the words "It is well with my soul" in the chorus. This song has a very worshipful feel to it. "Rest" is another beautiful instrumental. Ethereal and flowing in sound, it's one of the most peaceful songs on the EP. I loved the addition of Janell's voice in the background softly singing/humming.
Title track,"Finger Painting", starts with a soft acoustic guitar. This instrumental is almost 11 minutes in length, but is too pretty to get tired of, so it works. The instrumentation in this song sounds very rich and layered. Acoustic guitar, piano, pounding percussion, and what sounds like the cello in the background. This one feels epic to me and truly held my attention the whole way through. The EP closes with "Simple Song". The name fits the simplistic lyric of this song of praise, "Simple song. Singing hallelujah. Simple song. Grace to the one who loves us". A group vocal towards the end compliments it well with the worshipful lyrics, "Hallelujah/we praise you/hallelujah". It's a simple yet beautiful worship song, what better way to end this EP?
The Ember Days, which is made up of; Jason Belcher (vocals/guitar), Janell Belcher (vocals/keys), Jordan MacKenzie (drums), Logan MacKenzie (guitar) and Jedediah Lachman (bass), are a rare find in the way they are fusing creative rock music and passionate worship, and are doing it so well. But even more than that, they have a heart to see people worship God, a heart to see people have an encounter with God. And that truly comes through in their music. "Finger Painting" released on the somewhat new artist community called, Come&Live!, which gives fans the option of purchasing the EP or downloading it for free. So be sure to not miss out on these great songs!
For more info on The Ember Days go to: http://www.myspace.com/theemberdays
To purchase "Finger Painting" EP, or to download for free, Click Here