New Delhi-based singer/songwriter Akash Vincent’s latest EP, “Ember,” is a testament to his dedication to the craft of music-making. The EP was written during a period of rest, reflection, and recuperation, and it shows in the songs themselves. The EP consists of four tracks that span for 18 minutes and brings together talented collaborators to create a cohesive sound. The EP was co-produced by Girjashanker Vohra and was mastered by Warren Mendosa.
Vincent’s goal with this EP was to make the process shorter, simpler, and less intensive, and to explore his personal thoughts about music production. The title “ember” reflects the theme of the EP as a time of low-burning fire, and the cover art created by Vincent’s wife Saili Malpani perfectly captures this imagery.
The EP opens with the song ‘Lines’ which is a touching tribute to his love for Son Jarocho music and the Jarana instrument. The song tells the story of how Akash was introduced to Son Jarocho, the folk music from Veracruz, Mexico and how he fell in love with the Jarana. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Akash’s Jarana was damaged beyond repair. Despite this setback, Akash Vincent persevered and created a beautiful arrangement for ‘Lines’ that pays homage to the Jarana and Son Jarocho. He used a Guitalele in place of the Jarana and incorporated a strumming style influenced by Son Jarocho.
The second song in the EP ‘Piece By Piece’ presents a moving tribute to the experience of losing someone during the pandemic. The artist’s own story of grappling with this loss shines through in the lyrics, where he describes the intense longing for someone who is gone. The resulting track is hauntingly beautiful, with Vincent’s lilting vocals set against a sparse, melancholy instrumental backdrop.
The third song ‘Stay’ is a standout track on Akash Vincent’s EP, and it’s not difficult to see why. The song features an experimental drum beat that took the artist some time to perfect. Despite its complexity, the drums add an infectious groove to the track. The decision to program the drums was a wise one, as it allowed for greater control over the sound. The lyrics complement the music beautifully, expressing a desire for someone to stay. Vincent’s vocal performance is emotive, and he sings with a raw sincerity that is hard to come by in today’s music landscape.
The EP concludes with the final track ‘Traces’ which is a refreshing departure from the trend in contemporary music production. In this song, Vincent opts for a more barebones and intimate sound that is reminiscent of European classical music. The stripped-down instrumentation allows Vincent’s vocals to take centre stage, and he delivers a heartfelt performance that is full of emotion. The EP’s rich instrumentation, powerful lyrics, and Vincent’s soulful vocals make ‘Ember’ a must-listen for anyone who appreciates artistry and musical talent. This EP is a testament to the fact that sometimes, the best creative work comes out of moments of solitude and introspection.