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Lo & Behold

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Album Review

Emil & Friends brainchild Emil Hewitt is something of a silly enigma: at one point he perpetuated a Wikipedia hoax claiming actor Emile Hirsch was a member of the band; in interviews he evades questions with eccentric answers; and in his 2010 music video for “Short Order Cooks,” he adopted a superhero alter ego. But one thing is clear: he has an eclectic ear and a distinct vision. With full-length debut Lo & Behold, he and dozen or so "friends" take listeners on a sprawling, otherworldly journey through pop, R&B, electronica, folk and more, often shifting tone and instrumentation within a single song. Covering this much ground could come across as unfocused or overwhelming, but Hewitt’s musicality rises to the challenge with grace and authenticity, crafting a sound with equal parts substance and whimsy, never taking itself too seriously or too lightly. Dancefloor-ready “The Crystal Ball” pulses with bass and sparkles with synth as the lyrics encourage, "Let’s look into the crystal ball and see the future for us all/... If you know the future you can change what you want to," while “Rain Check” is propelled by a “It’s Not Unusual”-style horn chart and groovy bassline, and punctuated with a breakdown of Nintendo-toned keyboards, bossa nova-inspired woodwinds, and a skronky sax that exemplifies the record’s skillfully layered arrangements — and for a tongue-in-cheek take on bravado-laden bump ‘n’ grind, look no further than the vocoder-accented ode to the “king of all the ladies,” “C.U.P.I.D.” If that sounds like a lot to take in, get your feet wet with “Prescriptions,” which takes a more intimate approach, putting acoustic guitar and Hewitt’s innocent vocals and relationship-contemplating lyrics at the forefront. Lo & Behold invites listeners to explore a kaleidoscopic musical universe, revealing new sounds and textures with each spin and offering a rewarding experience to the open-eared and open-hearted.

Customer Reviews

I love youuuu

I love you guys so much! My favorite is royal oats. I was wondering if you could give me the lyrics to it? I couldn't find then anywhere

Biography

Formed: Boston, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Landing between the stylish synths of Phoenix and colorful retro-pop flourishes of MGMT, Emil & Friends is the eclectic electronic and neo-psychedelic-styled brainchild of Emil Hewitt. Starting out in Boston in the late aughts, Hewitt hooked listeners with a Wikipedia hoax that claimed the project included actor Emile Hirsch. Fortunately, his charming vocals, bright beats, and dancefloor-summoning basslines proved there was substance alongside the silliness. By 2010, he had relocated to New York...
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Lo & Behold, Emil & Friends
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