A New Beginning for an Old Band with A New Singer: Emarosa

Looking for a great new band (that’s not actually new) to discover? Meet Emarosa, a post-hardcore powerhouse. Well, technically they can be considered new since their old lead singer is no longer heading the band. Emarosa released their new album, Versus on September 9th, 2014 after the band had a shaky breakup from losing their star singer, Jonny Craig in 2011. Craig raised Emarosa to name-recognizing fame after he branded the band with his wavering vocals and broad range; his voice was often compared to that of Christina Aguilera.

Bradley Walden joined Emarosa and made the executive decision to leave his previous band, Squid The Whale. Yet, Craig’s absence is never felt in this album, nor does the band sound different without him because Walden managed to create a new sound without deviating from what worked for the band before. The new singer proves to be vocally at par with Craig: the difference in vocals can only really be distinguished by tone—Craig’s voice is a bit lower than Walden’s—but Walden’s style very much replicates the soulful R&B singing that Emarosa has always been known for. The bright side of this is that it doesn’t feel like you are listening to a new band: Emarosa still sounds like Emarosa. Walden managed to successfully convoke the same passion in his singing and songwriting while taking the band to a higher level.

The album opens with a crash-course of Walden’s incredible vocal range: “People Like Me, We Just Don’t Play” plunges the listener immediately into Walden’s loud and passionate singing from the very first second of the song. The band compliments him nicely with energetic guitar rhythms and pounding drums. What’s great about this album is that no song sounds like the other, “A Hundred Crowns” is a perfect example of what would happen if post-hardcore were sung by a soul singer. The opening and closing of the song sound as if they came straight off an R&B album…if R&B albums had heavy guitar riffs and screaming, of course.

No album is complete without a catchy and emotional heartbreak song. “I’ll Just Wait”is just this. The song is probably the only one in the album that does not sound like the old Emarosa, but it is a nice change of pace and a glimpse into their experimenting with new sounds. Sometimes, the set up of a simple drum pattern with suspended guitar notes and a soft melody is all you need to create a great song. The album comes to a near-end by going from a sweet love song to Michael Jackson in “Say hello to the Bad Guy”.The song is more moody and slow than the rest of the album, but again, these are glimpses into the band playing around with different ideas, and for the album these ideas seemed to work well.

Really, an entire article could be dedicated to Walden’s vocal brilliance on this album, but the best way to gain insight into this awesome band is by having a listen to their album. Versus paints another side of Emarosa that old fans and new fans will thoroughly enjoy. Walden managed to write an entire album that created a product different from the band’s time with Jonny Craig, but the admirable thing is that the band managed to create Versus without abandoning their old sound. The new Emarosa album is out there and is ready to be rediscovered and re-recognized.

1 Comment

  1. Devon O'Connor

    September 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Awesome band! Sad they lost their old singer, but Walden kills it!

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