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Be Embraced, You Millions! (Song, By Toad)

By • Mar 22nd, 2015 • Category: long players

RM Hubbert, in the course of battling anxiety and depression, has often described his approach to music as therapy. Another artist inspired to seek solace in song writing is Ian Turnbull, multi-instrumentalist in Edinburgh band Broken Records and the creative force behind digitalanalogue.

A solo project named after the ramshackle mix of digital and analogue equipment that makes up his home studio, Turnbull’s mainly instrumental album ‘Be Embraced, You Millions!’ is, as he describes, “A response to the ‘extreme highs and lows of a two year period in my life between 2011 and 2012. The excitement of first-time fatherhood and family life, touring, working on the third Broken Records album were tempered by personal heartbreaks, and all overshadowed by the terminal illness and death of my mother.”

With a palette of repeated piano motifs, atmospheric electronics and field recordings, the thirteen tracks that make up ‘Be Embraced, You Millions!’ unfold slowly. Narrative cues are provided through descriptive song titles such as album opener ‘Cafe Royal (Difficult Conversation)’ or ‘Kitchen, 3:06AM (Go To Sleep Little Guy)’. This information, alongside the quality of Turnbull’s song writing, envelopes the listener in his story and provides moments of staggering emotional power. The juxtaposition of melancholic melody and joyful grandparent talking to her grandchild in ‘No. 99 (‘I Love To Go A-Wandering’)’ for example will bring tears to the eyes.

Alongside RM Hubbert, the record recalls ‘Diamond Mine’ by King Creosote and John Hopkins, Mogwai’s soundtrack to French television series ‘Les Revenants’ as well as composer Phillip Glass’s ‘Metamorphosis 1-5’. Ending on a hopeful note with ‘Creag Ruadh (Keep Going)’ and what sounds like a heartbeat heard through an ultrasound, ‘Be Embraced, You Millions!’ is a work of beauty born out of emotional turmoil that will resonate with all who listen.

9 Responses »

  1. Highly recommended. MT: “@isthismusic: Album review: @di_ana_music – Be Embraced, You Millions! … @songbytoad”

  2. @DavidPeterScott @isthismusic @songbytoad thank you so much!

  3. Lovely album review! RT @isthismusic: Album review: digitalanalogue – Be Embraced, You Millions! … @songbytoad

  4. RT @isthismusic: Album review: digitalanalogue – Be Embraced, You Millions! … @songbytoad

  5. @di_ana_music @DavidPeterScott @isthismusic Amazing indeed – thanks David.

  6. RT @di_ana_music: Lovely album review! RT @isthismusic: Album review: digitalanalogue – Be Embraced, You Millions! ……

  7. @di_ana_music @isthismusic My pleasure!

  8. @SongbyToad @isthismusic My pleasure!

  9. RT @DavidPeterScott: My @isthismusic review of Be Embraced, You Millions! by @di_ana_music out now on @SongbyToad: h…