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Merlot Embargo is a collective of human beings from Los Angeles headed by singer/songwriter and guitarist/producer pair Scarlet and Geoff. They write and record out of their home studio in Downey, Ca, and perform throughout the southern California area. That they are comfortable with both Instagram and hand coffee grinders, is endemic of their desire to create music that is at once both classic and current.
In December 2014 songwriter/producer pair (and husband/wife) Scarlet and Geoff both walked away from an automobile accident that by all accounts should have been fatal. They left the accident wondering what they would have regretted had they been killed, and the answer was immediately apparent. Not pursuing their own music. This brush with death unleashed a flood of drive and creativity that propelled them to form Merlot Embargo and leave their creative stamp on the world.
The duo soon recruited bassist Jeremy, drummer Lonn and some El Paso transplants, brothers and video game composers Dave and Ben to complete their sound. The new recruits' years of musical experience and good taste led the band in musical directions that they would have never arrived at on their own. Expanding on Scarlet's sultry and powerful voice and Geoff's groovy guitar-ing, the expanded group developed the band's indie/americana/soul/pop sound into something both greater, and subtler. "A modern-day, unconventional family band" is how Scarlet describes the group.
Though they were excited about the music, Merlot Embargo didn't quite anticipate the enthusiasm which fans and bloggers had for their debut album, Don't Look Back. In addition to acclaim from internet critics and indie reviewers ("gripped with beautiful melodies and heart-felt lyrics," "moments of creativity and risk-taking," or "taking the listener beyond the music and into the life of the artist,") Their first music video, How to Survive an Apocalypse, has over 15,000 views at last count and was recently featured in a mix tutorial by noted mix engineer Matt Weiss
Though they're excited about Don't Look Back, they're not ready to rest on their laurels quite yet. While seeking as much industry and online attention as they can gather, they're also diligently at work on new material. They plan to release a series of singles throughout 2017, the first of which will be in late January, hopefully coinciding with the birth of their first child.
Merlot Embargo will at once bring you both whimsy and angst with "Don't Look Back", their debut release. A collection of indie-rock anthems, swampy stomp grooves and glowing string harmonies, it explores both the serious and the silly, from a child's imagination to being comfortable with one's own eccentricities.
"Don't Look Back" was born of a years-long songwriting project undertaken in 2014. After walking away from an automobile accident that should have been fatal, songwriter/producer (and husband/wife) Scarlet and Geoff felt compelled to create. "Don't Look Back" has clear Americana pop sensibilities, brought to life with both traditional pop/rock instrumentation and provocative colors including kalimba, banjo, and toy piano. You'll find yourself bobbing your head as a rhythm section with a deep pocket supports a sultry and powerful voice singing from the depths of her soul.
Since 2009, the members of Merlot Embargo have released music under various other projects, including the bands The Jingle Boys, Johnny Hi-Fi and High Watermark. In forming Merlot Embargo and creating "Don't Look Back", the band has refined their tastes and song-craft into a unified message which speaks with a clear, if dynamic, voice.
Merlot Embargo performs locally in the greater Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California. If you get a chance to see them live, do it; you won't look back.
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