S.J. Tucker, Ember Days, and Pushing the Boundaries of Pagan Music

On March 5th singer-songwriter S.J. Tucker released the soundtrack she composed, produced, and performed for the micro-budget fantasy epic “Ember Days” (more about that film in the future). Known largely for her folk-based material, Tucker uses the project as a way to experiment and grow as a composer, dipping into neo-tribal, electronic, and industrial sounds. The results are refreshing. The listener is opened to depths only hinted at in previous albums; a darker sonic tapestry that Tucker obviously enjoys playing in. Tucker, an artist who usually exudes joy and a fey sense of fun, drops the smiles here to excellent effect on tracks like “We Were Angels Once (Wake The Fallen)” and “We Are Shangri​-​La (Emerald City Mix).” In addition, we are reminded through the many instrumental tracks that Tucker can write compelling arrangements without having to rely on her able and road-tested voice.