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Emery / Norma Jean tickets at Trees in Dallas
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Thu Sep 15, 2022 - 7:00 PM
Trees, Dallas, TX Ages: All Ages
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Trees
2707 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75226
214-748-5009
Thu Sep 15, 2022 - 7:00 PM
Ages: All Ages
Doors Open: 6:00 PM
Onsale: Thu Jun 2, 2022 - 3:00 PM
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Bio: Emery

Emery's colossal third album I'm Only A Man (Tooth & Nail) captures the aggressive quintet building on the blueprint of its remarkably successful back catalogue to deliver the album of their lives. With an abundance of stylistic risks, the surprise-laden song cycle was crafted with the confidence that can only come from a deeply devoted fanbase and combined sales in excess of 250,000 for The Weak's End (2004) and The Question (2005).

 

For Emery - which also counts imaginative guitarist Matt Carter and thunderous drummer Dave Powell - the sonic ebbs and flows on I'm Only A Man come from an array of collective influences, be it classic rockers Queen - who they paid homage to in the past on 2005's "Listening to Freddy Mercury" - soul icon Sam Cooke, indie rockers Pedro The Lion or musical peers Brand New.

 

As a result, Toby says, "Some of the songs on this album might encourage our fans to dance along and embrace the hooks, but if you check out our lyrics, some of them are just heart crushing. We knew we were doing something different, but we didn't go too far. We didn't leave ourselves."

 

From its recent acoustic tour to its dual frontman approach, Emery has always taken risks. Of the latter, Toby says proudly, "We were all good friends before we started the band, so there are no egos. And to be honest, having two singers is a huge help when you're playing a full set of music. Having to sing on your own for an hour and a half, the way we play, would be a struggle. With us alternating it keeps things fresh and new."

 

After hitting the studio with Boesch in the spring of 2007, the group has emerged with a disc that clearly sets them apart from the status quo. "As for standing apart - we don't ever consider ourselves better than anyone else," Toby says humbly. "The awesome thing about music for us is being able to create and be unique in the context of what we do."

 

To which Devin concludes, "We're really proud of what we've done and we really want it to be something that stands out to people and maybe earns us some new fans. My hope is that people will be caught off guard, but in a really good way."
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Bio: Norma Jean

Ask most serious bands about the recording process, and if they don't compare it to giving birth, they'll likely tell you that making an album is akin to psychotherapy. But let's be real here: How many of those bands actually take the album-as-therapy idea literally? For Atlanta quintet Norma Jean, who for all intents and purposes should be some of the most content dudes in underground music right now, the recording sessions for their third album, Redeemer, packed group therapy, boot camp and endurance test into one gnarly package.

Just one listen to Redeemer confirms the ferocity of the band's performances. From the discordant breakdowns and jarring time changes of "The End Of All Things Will Be Televised" to the newfound melodic intensity of "Blueprints For Future Homes," the album packs some of Norma Jean's most unhinged, soul-baring playing into the span of 11 songs. And though the weird angles and difficult guitar figures that comprised Aftermath are still prevalent, that album's refined, very-much-studio feel has given way to raw atmospheres in which you can practically see the sweat running onto the instruments. Brandan, who's already proved himself a formidable vocalist, fully comes into his own on Redeemer with a style that veers between unhinged screaming and down-on-his-knees melodic belting.

As has been the case with Norma Jean's previous albums, fans will interpret Redeemer's title in a number of ways: There's the obvious (it's their shortest album title ever); the semi-obvious (the band members are Christian; the album's called Redeemer-you follow?); and the not-so-obvious (look up "Redeemer" in Webster's Dictionary for even more possibilities). All of these, says Davison, are valid readings, but as before, it's better just to listen to the whole album before settling on an opinion about what it all means.

"We just wanted a title that was short and simple, but also really powerful," Davison explains. "'Redeemer' was the most powerful word we could think of, and obviously, for us, being a spiritual band, it takes on special meaning." Brandan agrees. "We didn't call it Redeemer and then try to make the lyrics work around that [idea]," he says. "There's some really personal stuff on this record, and even though I'm seeing in hindsight that the title ties into some of that, I've always thought it's best just to let people come up with their own ideas about the songs, rather than say, 'This is our concept; this is what the record's about."

No matter how you interpret it, one thing's for sure: Slide it into your player, and you will feel Redeemer more than any other Norma Jean album. Emotional, spiritual, visceral, physical-this isn't just the third album Norma Jean wanted to make; it's the career-defining statement they had to.

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