Ember Swift – InsectInside

I found this CD at work and texted James…

Me: Why do I know the name Ember Swift?

James: I saw her live at Crawdaddy’s* in 2003.

Me: Wow. OK… Did she have something to do with Hawksley? He produced or something? Or is that my faulty memory? 

James: Entirely possible. The thought crossed my mind too. 

Me: Was she any good tho? There’s a CD here, is all. I was curious.

James: I liked it well enough but she was super political in that way where I pretty much agree with all of it but Jesus Christ dial it back a little. Apparently. I don’t really remember it, but that’s what I wrote down.

Me: Haha. I’m going to buy the CD just because of that.

Anyway, this 1997 effort is alternately full-on strident young lady with an acoustic guitar Ani DiFranco-ish goodness, and beautiful ballad strummery. All is offered with a voice perfectly suited for both. I liked how she even quoted Alanis in the first track, Own It, a tune on which she absolutely goes for broke. The piano playing on Awkward Lover perfectly emulate her voice, and the violin on Fly is a great touch. The album ends with a track of her eating sour cream and onion chips. I know.

If I had heard this in 1997, I’d have been all over it as it’s the sort of university dorm room album I’d have embraced, and a show at the pub/coffeeshop would have rocked us. In 2019, in my mid-40s, to hear this now, I still enjoyed it.

Also: I still don’t know if there was ever a Hawksley connection. Are you out there reading this, Ember? Was there one, at any point?   


*Crawdaddy’s was a restaurant we went to in Saskatoon, cajun-style menu. A magician had stuck a bunch of playing cards to the ceiling with some trick they did during the evening shows. Anyway, they had a bbq chicken/ham/cheese/mustard/coleslaw sandwich called The Big Messy and, as the name implies, it certainly was messy and it was goddamn glorious. And then James remembered the cajun poutine…

Put yer words here:

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