The Brevet – Embers: Ch. 2
I listen to a lot of Hamilton – like, a lot a lot, so it was only a matter of time until my review spins of The Brevet’s latest EP, Embers: Ch. 2, would come up against Lin-Manuel Miranda’s magnum opus; except this time while I ordinarily would have been focused on the events of the American Revolutionary War, I kept coming back to this Southern California quartet.
In the play, chief antagonist Aaron Burr is not so much indecisive as he is immovable on any number of issues, including the pursuit of his eventual wife Theodosia. Burr tries to defend his inaction in “Wait For It” – I’m not standing still / I am lying in wait – but the reality of his actions tell a different story. He remarks time and again at our hero Hamilton’s rise, much of it prompted by simply taking advantage of the opportunities presented to him.
Hamilton doesn’t hesitate
He exhibits no restraint
He takes and he takes and he takes
And he keeps winning anyway
He changes the game
He plays and he raises the stakes
Burr fails to seize upon chances that – on paper – should have come easier for him. He fails to “be”, he fails to live in the present; choosing instead to live in some hypothetical future when his “waiting” will have been worth it.
Embers on the other hand, is so in the moment it’s practically sitting right next to you. The EP’s all-too-short five-track playlist drop the listener right into the middle of the story with immediacy and impact. The band’s Americana roots work in perfect harmony with the music and lyrics to craft these incredible compositions – the balance of acoustic and electric instruments alone is enough for me to keep hitting repeat.
From the first line of the opener “Meet Me In The Night” – where vocalist/guitarist Aric Chase Damm sounds a bit like Eddie Vedder circa 1999’s “Last Kiss” – to the final refrain of the closer “Hold On”, Embers is intimate and inviting. Neither longing or wistful, it only asks of you that you listen, breathe this in, and act on today. And god if I don’t need to be reminded of that sometimes.
I can’t go a second further without recognizing their new video for “Hold On” as well. The song is beautiful all by it’s lonesome, but this video is something else – and it’s entire genesis encapsulates everything that makes this EP shine.
We had actually planned for a entirely different video with our director and good friend Sarah Wilson Thacker. It was supposed to be an outside shoot but when we got to the location and saw how windy it was we knew it wouldn’t work for a live performance… [so] Sarah, the guys, and I headed back to our studio space which was in the process of being torn down. She came up with the idea of shooting a one-take right there. Probably the most fun we’ve had filming a video! – Aric Chase Damm
You can see the absolutely incredible results for yourself below.
The comparison is not lost on me that The Brevet take their name from a rank awarded to soldiers who went above and beyond the call of duty without any expectation of extra compensation – a practice that began in this country during the Revolutionary War. I could continue to wax poetic about Embers (believe me, I can keep going), but at the end of the day all I can do is sit and wait (very) impatiently for The Brevet’s next chapter.