20 October 2023 Reviews
Starting off with an infectious percussion and clap pattern, ‘I Am Not OK’, the new single from indie Americana pop duo Merlot Embargo, has your full attention from the very first second. The track introduces a chorus-drenched electric guitar and catchy non-lexical vocal line, before opening the door to the rest of the instrumentation. Backing up a gentle, easy-going but confident vocal performance, jolly acoustic guitar chords, plucky rhythmic lines and bouncy keys are driven by an eclectic drum part, creating an ever expanding soundscape. The track culminates in a high energy climax of a final chorus, with a full ensemble of instruments guiding that ever memorable ‘la la la’ into the end of the song.
On the new release, Merlot Embargo duo Scarlet and Geoff share:
“We tried to address the struggles of isolation and battling one’s own demons, but with the twist of simultaneously watching your partner out there conquering the world. It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but very much based on very real feelings.”
Merlot Embargo started with a nearly fatal car accident that crushed the little Toyota they were travelling in, sending them scrambling out the newly-destroyed rear window. That brush with death, and time of self-reflection, drove them to share their music with the world. Some might consider Scarlet and Geoff an unlikely duo: a seat-of-the-pants singer-songwriter, and a music school nerd and engineer. However, the blending of their different approaches to music, and life, has helped them create music that's provocative, but approachable. They temper each other's worst tendencies, and in their good moments, bring out the best qualities in the other.
The Los Angeles duo have been building a following since their first release in 2016, performing across Southern California, continuing to excite fans and tastemakers with the music they write and record out of their home studio.