Between 1982 and 1984 Cherry Red records was my favourite independent label (I know it would be much cooler to pretend Factory records was my favourite, but " I believe in truth ... though I lie a lot"). Cherry Red seemingly released a classic record every week by artists like the Monochrome Set, Felt, Ben Watt, the Marine Girls, Momus, Jane, Tracey Thorn, Eyeless In Gaza,... which have all since been recognized as such.
However, hardly anyone ever mentions In Embrace who in my opinion recorded in "Shouting in cafés" and "This brilliant evening", two of the finest singles ever in Cherry Red records' history. In Embrace hailed from
In Embrace songs are full of words about longing, secretive glances, sudden smiles, embraces in dusty bedsits, lips that should be kissed and selfdoubt and all this set to shimmering heartbreaking melodies. That
In Embrace songs always seemed to strike a perfect balance between melancholia and joy.One review at the time said they made the perfect tunes to make you want to gaze at raindrops running down the window. I couldn't have put it better myself.
After "this brilliant evening" two more equally fine In Embrace singles slipped out almost unnoticed on the small independent label Glass records namely "a room upstairs" (another great romantic song) and "what's got into me" (Gary's lovelorn words set to a great dumb skanking tune reminiscent of what Saint Etienne got up to years later on their fine cover of the Field Mice's "kiss and make up") and then, just as the were supposed to release their masterpiece, an album called "songs about snogging" (a very In Embrace title - others include "your heaven scent plays hell with me"', "sun brings smiles", "chocolate for breakfast", "love among the crumbs"), there was ... nothing.
The album was never released as Glass records went bust and the producer John A. Rivers refused to let go of the mastertapes because he didn't get payed for the sessions.
Up to this day my heart still aches a little when I think that I never have heard and probably never will hear this record. It's just like a love-affair suddenly cut short ... In a way that's very apt In Embrace, their heaven sound still plays hell with me.
ps : only a handful of In Embrace's songs (the "shouting in cafés" and "this brilliant evening"
We can only hope that the older Glass records stuff and the "songs about snogging" album ever see the day. Cherry Red or LTM are you listening ?!Bart