The Ember Glows: “Music that will Remain Timeless”

Montreal Rockers Celebrate New EP, Secret Concerts, and Each Other’s Company

The Ember Glows talk their new EP and playing for the right reasons. Courtesy Bryan Gagnon

The Ember Glows, a Montreal-based quartet influenced by new wave and post-punk music, released their EP WHERE SPIRITS PLAY on Sept. 23. 

Initially created as a side-project in 2019, the band became each member’s main music priority thanks to the chemistry the four had. Martin Saint, lead singer and one of two guitar players, noted that an important reason for this chemistry was that they are all friends.

“We’re not just four mercenaries who hooked up to do music. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company; hanging out socially such as tonight, even without instruments in our hands,” said Saint. “I think this [chemistry] is something—I hope, at least, that people can feel in the music: in the chemistry, in the silences, the ebb and flow.”  

According to Richard Bunze, lead guitar, WHERE SPIRITS PLAY has received lots of positive feedback from Europe and North America, though Saint acknowledged that they seem to be more popular among European listeners.

Andrew Wieler, the Metal Director for CJLO, Concordia University’s radio station, said The Ember Glows are unique for a Montreal band, since the city doesn’t have many post-punk or new-wave artists.

“The Ember Glows [have] a specifically ‘British new wave feel’ to [them] that I don't really think has been tapped into in any other band from here,” Wieler said in a written statement to The Link. “This is a rare instance where a band is so spot on with their own description that writing anything about their sound feels like plagiarism.” 

The Ember Glows used to be on Spotify, but have since removed themselves from the platform. Among the many reasons for this decision was the streaming service’s affiliation with military investments. Saint said that he is still on Spotify as a solo artist and he is very cautious about not being a hypocrite. 

“[This news] came out last year and we opted out, we were just like ‘why are we on it if we don’t even like the platform,’ and it gives the least amount of money to the artists than any of the platforms,” Bunze said.

Saint doesn’t believe that the band is hindered by not being on Spotify. 

“It’s not easy, but it shouldn’t be. You have to earn [the respect of your audience],” he said. “People can smell phoniness from a mile [away], so if the four of us are genuine […], then we hope that this is music that will remain timeless,” he added. 

On Nov. 12, the band will be playing at The Fungeon, which Bunze described as being an underground DIY venue that just opened a few months ago.

“It brings us back to the days of just doing it yourself,” he said about the site, which is at an undisclosed location. Those looking to attend the concert either have to be invited by the band or ask around until someone coughs up an address.

“We don’t necessarily want to be rockstars,” Bunze said. “The dream is to sustain yourself on music […] music is a massive part of our lives and we have to play it; we love it.”

Saint agreed and added they want to play for the right reasons, not to simply be on a billboard.