LISTEN: Stephen Emmer

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International Blue

–a stunning, sprawling cross between John Denver, as strange as that sounds, [“Let the Silence Hold You” and the heartfelt “In the Mirror Reflected”] and Tindersticks [“Blown Away” and “Untouchable”]. Broad, sweeping vocals and dark, luxurious melodies. it’s dreamy, romantic, soothing.

Stephen Emmer is an interesting dude. Born in Holland, he grew up in an Indian ashram learning to play local wind instruments during the ‘60s then learning voodoo-infused percussion in the Caribbean. Back in Amsterdam in the ‘70s, he got involved in various bands such as an experimental free jazz group, a symphonic rock group, and an avant-garde new wave electro-noise group called Minny Pops, who would be signed by the UK’s Factory Records alongside Joy Division.

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