Embrace

Biography

It's still a safe bet to say that most English bands just getting started in the mid-'90s owe something to the Verve, Oasis and/or Radiohead. This generalization holds true for the McNamara brothers, who formed Embrace then. With anthemic choruses ringing above ornately orchestrated music beds, Embrace pulled on heartstrings right from the start. The band released its first single, "All You Good, Good People," on the Fierce Panda label in February 1997. Signing to Hut (a subsidiary of Virgin records in the U.K.) later that year put more marketing muscle behind the band, so when "All You Good, Good People" was re-released in October, it entered the U.K. charts at No. 8. The following year, Embrace entered the studio to work on their debut album, The Good Will Out, which entered the charts at No. 1 and earned them a number of successful singles as well as a Brit Award nomination for Best New Band. With a handful of desperately personal songs that exploded passionately into roaring choruses, Embrace were now seen as the heir apparent to the then-newly-disbanded Verve and the then-faltering Oasis. Their momentum slowed with the release of Drawn From Memory, which suffered from overly simplistic songs which were further mired in excessive orchestration. The band tried to right itself with the release of If You've Never Been, which sported a few up-tempo tracks and was a more balanced affair. That said, it was the power ballad "Wonder" that returned the boys to the top of the charts. Embrace suffered a setback once again in 2002, when they ended their relationship with Hut Records -- but only for a moment. Embrace fan and label owner Andy MacDonald welcomed the boys into the bosom of his label, Independiente. Two solid years of writing songs and then scrapping them followed, until a handful were chosen to record. For their fourth album, the boys asked Youth to produce and a grueling three month recording session followed. The members of Embrace made no bones about the fact that Youth was a hard taskmaster who took every opportunity to challenge them to be better. The resulting album, 2005's Out of Nothing, boasted a heady collection of songs that were as powerful as they were beautiful.

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