It’s fair to say since their formation back in 2006 that Kentucky outfit Emarosa have undergone many line-up changes, along with their musical directions, and have come a long way from their post-hardcore roots.
The band’s fifth studio album, ‘Peach Club’ adopts a much more pop route, and, although 2016’s ‘131’ certainly saw the band dipping their toes in this lighter sound, this time they’ve jumped right into the water, awash with pop and R&B, and their confidence in this decision oozes throughout the album.
Opener and lead single ‘Givin’ Up’Maroon 5 and ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ era The 1975, and the addition of the saxophone halfway through well and truly gets this album off to a bang.
The high-fuelled batch of pop songs continues throughout with the likes of ‘So Bad’ and its highly infectious chorus, which wouldn’t sound out of place in the Top 40, really demonstrating how well Emarosa have embraced this new sound and that they’re certainly fit to stand aside more mainstream built peers. ‘Cautious’, on the other hand, pulls back into a more alt-pop offering, a style which the likes of current contemporaries Deaf Havana and Don Broco are starting to opt for.
Although the record on the surface is upbeat, there’s some real sentiment and vulnerability hidden within. ‘Get Back Up’ is a wonderful homage to frontman Bradley Walden‘s mother, who raised his family single-handedly as well as her undergoing her own battle in overcoming cancer. The track’s message of strength and determination is a credit to the band’s song writing capabilities to bring such hardship into a positive pop song.
Slowing the tempo right down is ‘xo’, yet another highlight from ‘Peach Club’, which showcases the sheer talent in Walden‘s vocals impeccably, and it’s easy to imagine this being played in a suave piano club atmosphere. It’s delicately sang, but his vocals add a real flair of sophistication to the record.
‘Peach Club’ is a great body of pop music. It’s easy to see where the band have likely lost fans of a less adaptable palette over the years due to such a stylistic change, but on the flip side to that they’ve in turn gained a whole new fanbase and extended their reach to more expansive opportunities whilst flexing their creative muscles. It’s safe to say that the new era this post-hardcore turned pop quartet have now ushered in holds a bright and ambitious future.