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Max Embers Delves Into Reflection With "mccartney"

In 2019, Max Embers was a finalist on the premiere of NBC's Songland. Performing his original song ‘Back Home,’ for John Legend and directly collaborating with three-time Grammy Award-winning producer Ryan Tedder, with whom he co-wrote his single ‘Lookin' Up,’ he would go on to partner up with the British label Frtyfve and the Movember foundation to release two records as part of the ‘Mo Sounds’ initiative in the same year.

Besides working as a songwriter, with artists like Swedish Melodienfestivalen star Felix Sandman, and Grammy nominee Noah Cyrus, his latest cuts include DJ features with Niiko x Swae, Bhaskar, and Enkode, as well as the multi-language duet project ‘I Dare You’ by Kelly Clarkson featuring the German pop-group Glasperlenspiel.

Teasing his upcoming EP, ‘Idyllwild,’ with the release of his sonic and visual pairing for the lead single, “got to get you,” Max Embers sends listeners in an all-out frenzy as they eagerly grasp onto the musical content offered up.

Through the rustic resonance of brilliant acoustic guitar riffs igniting repetition through the sound waves, there’s an expansive aspect that lies within the perfectly crafted essence of "mccartney." Glimmers of piano chords gently grace the composition which emphasizes the dimensions heard overflowing through the amalgamation of the rhythmic bassline and tightly knit percussion that periodically makes itself known.

What we admire the most about this masterpiece has to be the way that Max Embers irrefutably zealous croons cascade over instrumentation that allows you to feel the depths of what is conveyed. Within his lyrically charged songwriting virtuoso, the unmatched method of his buttery timbres has us hanging on to every last word he pours out.

Pairing the illuminating soundscape with what jumps out to us as a letter to himself, there are hues of the journey it takes to rediscover who you are in this crazy little thing called life. Making it known that those out there seeking self-discovery are not alone, Max Embers excels at the manner in which his message comes across in “"mccartney”

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Max Embers, and congratulations on releasing “mccartney” off of your anticipated debut EP, “idyllwild” Was there a particular moment or story that sparked the inspiration for the themes reflected in this song? I wrote the entire “idyllwild” EP on my solo writing retreat in Idyllwild last year, where I was staying in a vintage airstream in the woods. The songs appear on the EP in the order in which I wrote them, and I think they’re very reflective of my journey as a whole, and how I was feeling at each point. “mccartney” was the third song, and I had already spent a little more than a week in Idyllwild. I was really settling into a state of flow and introspection like I hadn’t really known it before. One day a fan on Instagram wrote me a direct message, asking if I could write a song about water. I had actually been thinking about the concept of water for a while and I felt inspired to explore it more, which is definitely reflected in the song now. “Are we all just water passing through, when we leave towards the open blue, end up flowing into something new” - existential questions of who we are at our core, how everything is connected, and where we go when we leave were playing on my mind, and it developed into a song about going with the flow, just allowing yourself to feel however you feel at any given point, and letting each moment be whatever it is without trying to force it in any other direction? It seems to me that one of the most significant truths of life lies within that realization (and many people before me have come to the same conclusion, such as the record’s eponym, Paul McCartney who wrote it in his simple but undeniable line “let it be”). There’s so much beauty in accepting the present for what it is, and I’ve been trying to embrace that more and more since I wrote “mccartney”, which sort of marks the beginning of me really taking this truth to heart. In your own words, what significance does “mccartney” have to yourself? What are you hoping that your audience takes away from this record? In my own journey, I’ve surely often tried to fight where I was at the time. Be it in my relationships or in my professional career, we all know the feeling of wanting to be somewhere other than where we are, not being satisfied with what we have, and wishing for more, bigger, “better” things. Especially in the music industry, it’s difficult not to compare yourself to everyone else. In the last year, I’ve come closer to shifting my perspective, by way of focusing on the beautiful, meaningful experiences that I do get to live through, instead of judging myself or my career for lacking certain things. It’s also about honesty with yourself and others and living authentically instead of trying to change yourself to “please” others. Ultimately, I’ve just come to find joy and value in being grateful for the present moment, in accepting that my journey is what it is, and celebrating it for just that. It’s a very freeing feeling! I hope that the EP as a whole, and this song, in particular, can be an encouragement for my listeners to embrace their own journey and allow themselves to honor their experience, whatever that might be. That’s not something that just happens overnight, and I myself am still very much on my path to getting there, but there’s something meditative and healing about “letting it be” and I hope that the song reflects the peaceful energy that comes with this. When we tapped into the music video, the opening scene was a one-on-one video of yourself right after the creation of the song in which you mention how your experience in Idyllwild has helped you tap into your creativity again. Did you always know that this key piece would make the cut? What is the inspiration behind the visuals that we see? I didn’t know immediately after my trip to Idyllwild that I was going to release these songs as an EP, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to release them at all. But over time, I recognized that I had created something extremely important for myself, and knew I had to put it out in the most honest way I could. Around the same time, an idea manifested within me to have a music video for every song on the EP, to illustrate the journey that I went through in Idyllwild. At first, I was thinking about creating something surreal, dreamlike, almost like a fairytale that would show the magical effect that my time in this little mountainous town had on me. But as with the rest of the EP, the visuals were going to be very DIY and ultimately I had the epiphany that it didn’t have to be some fantasy-type video, but that if I just showed the reality of my trip to Idyllwild, there was a lot of magic in that already. I was unusually active on social media during my trip to Idyllwild, posting on my story every day, and so I decided to make a diary-style series of videos, each of which would actually start out with a one-on-one video of myself from the day that I wrote said song. The EP is meant to be enjoyed as a whole, so I can’t wait for the last two pieces to come out at the end of this month, and the same applies to the videos: if you start with “wildest dreams”, which shows me right before I head off to Idyllwild, then watch “got to get you”, then “mccartney” and so forth, it’s meant to really show my journey as authentically as possible. Hopefully, it translates the incredibly peaceful and revelatory time I had, because I think I found pieces of myself in that little town I didn’t even know I was missing before. When I returned home I knew myself in a deeper way, and yet I came back lighter, more joyful. Almost like I connected with the long-forgotten inner child in me. What do you have in store for your listeners, when it comes to your EP, ‘idyllwild?' As I mentioned before, to me the EP is a piece of art as a whole. Of course, I hope people will enjoy listening to the individual songs, as well, but really it’s meant to be consumed as an experience from start to finish. I once found a quote by T.S. Eliott which reads: “we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time”. I believe that life moves in a circular motion, and as we grow we get to see ourselves and our experience from higher and higher vantage points. To me the EP is such a cycle: it starts in a specific emotional place and invites the listener to join me on my journey through the different discoveries I made on my trip. By the end of the closing track, “alive”, the cycle starts over and leaves the listener (and myself) at with a broader perspective. I know this sounds super ethereal, and I don’t really have better words to describe it. Ultimately I hope that the EP can be some sort of soundtrack to my listeners’ own journey, that accompanies their growth and their own revelations. I hope it will be a warm, welcoming listening experience full of love and light. That’s the space I really want to create for my fans, and I can’t wait to see how people will perceive the record once they hear the full thing!!


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