I met Jake Kemble a couple of years ago when a buddy took me to a small show in my hometown of Des Moines. I didn’t know anything about him and, although I loved his music and energy, I figured I would never see him again. Years later, I fell in love with the local band Boomtown Riot here up in the Twin Cities. Somehow I put two and two together and realized that Jake Kemble from that fateful night in Des Moines was the same Jake in Boomtown Riot. Things came full circle and I felt a sense of heartbreak when I saw the news that Boomtown Riot was no more. Fast forward again to a text message from one of the head honchos here at Twin Cities Media that just said, “Do you want to review Jake Kemble’s new….” Stop. Yes. 100% yes. That’s how I found myself checking out Kemble the Band’s three song EP “Work This Thing Out”.
Where I had gotten familiar with Jake’s highly energetic live show, this EP starts with “Work This Thing Out” which is much more low key than what I had gotten accustomed to from Jake. That being said, that high energy was still there as Jake and Halen Becker’s words danced over very minimalist instrumentation. With the background a bit echoed, the vocals soared and truly shined a light on the talent of both of these vocalists. I was instantly in love with the way the two voices matched yet didn’t sound the same. Jake’s voice brings a sense of soul whereas Halen’s voice brings brightness to the whole thing. The perfect mix for a perfect three song EP, I was already dreading the end of this release.
“While I’ve Got You By The Ear” kicks the tempo up just a tad but keeps with a very cozy and comfortable vibe. Clearly radio worthy, I love how this song brings in elements of top-40 pop songs while steering clear of the dreaded “generic” word. Although Halen’s voice was a highlight on the first song, it’s non-existent for this track. I was honestly a little bummed but also loved the way it made this song feel completely different from “Work This Thing Out”. It also made me super excited for a full length from Kemble the Band. There’s so much potential and to hear that with only two songs is truly remarkable.
Already at the end of the EP, “Dwell On It” came on and instantly turned into my favorite track of the three. Again, a completely vibe from the previous two songs, “Dwell On It” had a very folk-pop vibe to it with Halen’s voice stealing the spotlight back from Jake. The chorus of this song is one of those chorus’ that I found myself humming for hours after even though I had only listened to it a couple of times through. Infectious and catchy, this is, again, one of those songs that I see breaking this band into the spotlight that they so much deserve.
This EP is only about ten minutes and three songs and, let me tell you, clearly not enough. This is just the beginning for Kemble the Band and I truly can not wait to see what else they come up with.
Photo by David Rubene