Just to Feel Anything, the new album by Emeralds, surpasses all expectations, just as its predecessor, Does It Look Like I'm Here, did in 2010. This expertly recorded new album sees the band deliver plenty of their distinctive aesthetic for old fans to enjoy while offering a new range of fresh, exciting ideas for newcomers.
'Before Your Eyes' begins the record with a steady build-up, which bleeds into humid layers of synthesizer pads and warm guitar. The track sets the tone perfectly for 'Adrenochrome', a fast-paced excursion into new territory for the band. The calm after the storm appears in the form of 'Through & Through', with its contemplative strokes and heart-wrenching atmospherics. 'Everything Is Inverted' is an energetic rush of monolithic guitar leads, pulsing drum machine, and driving sequences.
Still, it's on the second half of Just to Feel Anything, a triptych of tracks, where Emeralds adroitly demonstrate why they are a cut above their contemporaries. 'The Loser Keeps America Clean' kicks off the b-side by diving into the deepest fathoms of their experimental oeuvre. As the final bursts of static dissipate we are led into the opening chords of the eponymous 'Just to Feel Anything' a new zenith in Emeralds' repertoire. The album closer, 'Search For Me in the Wasteland' sees mounting layers of brightly strummed guitar chords blossom into a storm of color and expertly crafted textures-- a truly majestic end to an immense album.
With Just to Feel Anything, Emeralds shine a laser-sharp light into the future, while preserving their uniquely intelligent historical perspective. The long-awaited next chapter in the Emeralds discography is finally here, emerging as a sophisticated progression in both sound and structure.
Written, Recorded and Mixed in June 2012 at Tangerine Sound in Akron, Ohio.
Recorded by Andrew Veres.
Mixed by Andrew Veres and Emeralds.
Mastered by James Plotkin.
Vinyl cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, August 2012.
Artwork and typography by Mark Fell.
Front cover photograph by Mark McGuire.
Back cover photograph by Steve Hauschildt.
Layout assistance by Michael Pollard.
Emeralds is Mark McGuire, Steve Hauschildt and John Elliott.
Thanks to Russell Brill, Mark Fell, Peter Rehberg, Jamie Stillman and Ben Vehorn
Special thanks to Andrew Veres