Sticks & Stones: Press Release Jan, 2017

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So, it turns out that the new album needed more time. It’s now officially a 2017 release. That’s okay. I’ve been saying that it’s taken me 5 years to release a new album, but now, as per the calendar change, I’ll have to conceded that it’s officially…… 5 years and 3 months… (can’t say 6 years! lol!)   The last album came out in November of 2011, so… January of 2017 is now the official birthdate of “Sticks & Stones.”

Release Venue: DDC, Beijing China
Date: January 13th, 9pm

The following is the press release written by Gerry Lipnowski, a professional writer and long-time supporter of my music. In fact, Gerry first saw me perform in 1997, twenty years ago. He is also the person who helped me select the album title. It is very apropos.

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“Sticks and Stones” echoes childhood joys while living in an adult world

Ember Swift’s joyous collection of new songs, “Sticks and Stones,” is readily divided into three primary categories: catchy and entertaining songs for children; clever and insightful songs for adults who care for kids; and the arguably more grown up consequences of the promise and longing of relationships between adults. The humour and playfulness that permeate the new work helps make this her most broadly appealing album to date.

Produced by Ember and Montreal-based Tim Rideout and featuring the talent of her Beijing Band (Anthony Vanacore [US], Yoav Volansky [Israel], Jack Lecomber [UK] and Wang Yaqi [China]), each of the songs have their own distinct character, ranging from rollicking cowboy, calypso and gypsy music to lullabies, vintage 50s and her trademark alternative folk styling. The unifying quality of Ember’s shimmering voice pulls the album together, punctuated with her own gorgeous back up vocals, delightful touches of unexpected instrumentation, and even an appearance by her own children.

The songs for kids are irresistibly charming and are sure to enchant any child, or the child in any of us. For anyone who has children, the ode to sleep itself, which has deserted her, or the contradictory feeling of simultaneously needing a break from one’s kids and then immediately missing them will ring true and put a knowing smile on your face.

But perhaps the most substantial songs are those for and about adults, innocently foreshadowed in the kiddy song “Balloon”, whose lesson is that it is all too easy to be careless and watch something joyful and treasured slip from your grasp, never to be recovered. The childhood retort of ‘sticks and bones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ gives way to the realization that between adults, nothing is more hurtful than words (“Said What You Said”). This notion is particularly touching after a description of how superfluous words are in the spark of newly discovered love (“LNND: Love Needs No Dictionary”). But the doubts, temptations, demands, and egocentric/self-absorption of everyday life articulated in a succession of songs reiterates and echoes how quickly your balloon can get away from you. In the end, the most enduring love remains is that between mother and child. It is a tribute to Ember’s highly developed skills as a songwriter that she takes listeners through this journey with such a variety of truly splendid songs, each one a gem on its own, and together adding up to far more than the sum of its total, not to mention a genuinely fun listen.

(Chinese version to follow)

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Ember Swift新专辑Sticks & Stones

Sticks & Stones带你品味成年人世界里的童真童趣

Ember Swift这张充满欢乐的新专辑Sticks and Stones主要包含三类单曲:朗朗上口、令人愉悦的童谣,写给照顾孩子的成年人的充满智慧的歌曲,以及关于成年人关系中的承诺和渴望的歌曲。新专辑有着很强的幽默感和趣味性,是Ember Swift迄今为止最具吸引力的作品。

Ember和蒙特利尔的Tim Rideout担任专辑的制作人,Ember在北京组建的乐队在专辑中也有精彩的表现,乐队成员分别是Anthony Vanacore(美国),Yoav Volansky(以色列),Jack Lecomber(英国),王雅琪(中国)。每首单曲都有自己独特的风格,从欢快的牛仔到卡里普索和吉普赛音乐,从摇篮曲到50年代复古蓝调,还有她标志性的另类民谣风格。Ember灵动的嗓音贯穿始终,加之她良好的唱功,巧妙的编曲,还有一双儿女的出镜,使新专辑更加熠熠生辉。

专辑中的童谣有种难以抗拒的魅力,肯定会让孩子们为之陶醉,同时也能唤醒我们成年人的童心。对有孩子的人来说,那种被睡眠抛弃的感觉,还有你想离开孩子休息一下但立刻又会想念孩子的矛盾心情,都是那么的真实,让你绽放会心的微笑。

专辑里最丰富的内容或许是那些写给成年人和关于成年人的歌曲,就像《气球》这首童谣里预示的一样,人们总是太容易疏忽,看着欢乐和珍贵的东西从手中溜走,再也找不回来。童年时,人们总认为“木棍和石头会折断我的骨头,但是言语永远伤害不了我,”但长大后才意识到,原来成年人之间,最伤人的莫过于言语(《说你想说的》)。而在新恋情里,人们会真切的感受到原来词汇是那么的多余(《爱不需要字典》)。

但是,这些歌曲所里表达的人们日常生活中的疑虑、诱惑、需求、利己主义和自我专注,再次印证了”气球”会从你的手里飞走。最终,最持久的爱仍然是母亲和孩子之间的爱。通过这张专辑,Ember展示了其作为一名歌曲作家的强劲实力,人们聆听这些美妙的歌曲,和Ember一起享受一段音乐的旅程。每一首歌都像是一颗宝石,汇聚在一起,散发着耀眼的光芒。

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