LOCAL ROCKERS Ember City have been doing live stream shows on a regular basis for quite some time now, since their gigs were cancelled in March as things shut down due to COVID-19. Those shows, which have been acoustic performances by bandleader/bassist Sarah Poole and her husband, guitarist Ryan Taito, are markedly different from the three-piece rock configuration that they’re used to.
“For me, the live streams were kind of a method of maintaining sanity,” Poole tells Connect. “It gave me something to look forward to, so I wasn’t sitting in my pajamas for a week straight. I really appreciate that I did that, because I’m not as rusty as I would have been had I not played for two months.”
The band’s upcoming Quarantine Concert, which takes place on Fri., May 29 at 8:30 p.m. will finally give the band a chance to return to form and play a full-band rock show.
“It’s going to be all of our originals that we have out in the world right now, plus a couple of covers,” Poole says of the show.
“We’re really excited to do a full band thing. Everything shut down right before St. Patrick’s Day and that was a lot of big shows for us. We haven’t done any full band stuff since early March, so we’re very excited to get out there and be loud.”
Naturally, Poole and Taito have been using this time of isolation to write new music. It’s a new direction for the band, Poole says.
“The last project was themed off of anxiety, so the whole album was conceptualized. But going into this, we’re focusing more on the feeling of the song than the lyrics. I feel like the lyrics are secondary, which is weird because I’ve never done it like that,” Poole says.
“I’m writing lyrics and thinking, ‘Well, this line doesn’t really contribute to the line before it. But it paints the overall picture.’ So I’m going outside of my comfort zone with this next set of songs.”
Poole says the goal of the new music is to approach things from a standpoint of production and dynamics, and to loosen the reins when it comes to the lyrical focus. The goal is ultimately to view the process through a different lens.
“I’ve kind of put myself in a box over the last year in terms of saying, ‘I need to write this type of song, it needs to sound like this,’” she says. “But I guess during quarantine I’ve been saying, ‘You know what? Whatever.’ I’m just going to write, and if we like it we like it. And if we don’t, we’ll scrap it. That’s where we are right now.”