Pretty Embers – ‘It’s Not The Same’

When your band is deemed the “Death Cab For Cutie Of The South”, you immediately give listeners new and old an idea of what to expect. But the Birmingham Alabama natives, comprising lifelong friends Kameron Mitchell, Mason Thomas, and Ethan Standard,  and their new single, ‘It’ Not The Same’, from their album, ‘Under’, show that they bring a whole lot more to the table.

Now based in Nashville, the indie/alternative rock trio have spent most of 2020 – before and during the quarantine – writing and recording ‘Under’, their debut album. The three have a vast range of musical influences, including Bon Iver, Paul McCartney, Tyler the Creator, Death Cab For Cutie, Andy Shauf, From Indian Lakes, D’Angelo, and Radiohead, and all of this combines to give the group a unique sound.

“It was incredible just figuring things out.” Ethan explains. “This was a brand new experience in the way that we went about building out and recording these 10 songs. It was a very organic, explorative, experimental time for us and I think that brought out a sense of vulnerability and honesty that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.” “I think we all matured,” adds Mason. “We really learned how sacred the process is and the value of taking the creation and artistry to a place of focus and sanctity.”

‘It’s Not The Same’ scrapes against the heartstrings with its jangly, fuzzy guitars, and the vocals are grungey and melancholy, giving the tune a sadness, which is yet not overwhelming; listened through headphones the music is multi-layered and evocative, enticing the listener to explore each layer separately. The drums tie the piece together with their thunderous rhythms, while at the same time being allowed to have their own stand-out time. The guitars are mellow and harmonious, exemplifying the talent of the musicians. There’s a surprise element at the very end of the song, but I won’t give it away, you’ll have to listen to it yourself.

‘It’s Not The Same’ tells the story we’ve all felt, and especially during this Pandemic, of a certain numbness, and not quite knowing how we should feel. In the end we all settle back into the realisation that somethings have changed irrevocably; with all change it’s hard to accept, but eventually we settle down and learn to live with it.

Speaking of the song, Kameron says,

“Not being able to let it go even when you thought you could,” says Kameron, “feels like sinking back to the place you thought you finally escaped from.”

‘It’s Not The Same’ is out October 29.

Find out more about Pretty Embers and their music online on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email