Ember Swift,
(Few'll Ignite Sound, 2004)

You can't miss Ember Swift's politics if you listen to the words she sings on Disarming. It doesn't come out in every song, but it is a consistent part of the CD, and for some it may well decide if they like her music.

Some of Swift's politics come out in the words of "Tapped & Wired," and they are as much sung as spoken. From politics to culture and relationships in "Disarming," the music builds in intensity courtesy of the steady beat. "Splinter" is a song that could brighten up a room, and it is not just one part of the song that makes it so, but how the joy in each part combines. From joy to loneliness in "Boise," which keeps a thread of hope running in the words but at the time of the song is so frail.

"Twist Twice" is very barebones, for guitar and voice only, and slowly paced. Swift returns to politics in "Sucker-Punched," and you will either love or hate the point of view expressed. Somewhere between jazz and blues you will find "All in the Family" as the lyrics continue to address current affairs.

The steady beat of "14 & Fiery" helps shape the feel of the song, bringing the sound into jazz. The songs ends with a short bit that seems like it is from another song. She tackles another issue in "H2O," this time one that is environmental and economic. The mood lightens for "F.A.Q." with its wide range of questions and answers.

The give and take between her voice and the music brings out the dance in "Elle est la." This is followed by the intense "Pek," in which the music is so focused and Swift's vocals come soaring out of the music. There is rest to be found in "Breath" as images in the lyrics slide gracefully by; the imagery builds and then comes to moments of release.

There is passion in the music here, as Swift doesn't hold much back from what she puts to song. As she expresses herself in Disarming there are lines that encompass the entire CD; this combined with the passion adds much to the CD.

by Paul de Bruijn
3 March 2007

[ visit the artist's website ]

Buy it from Amazon.com.