It Could Be Worse
Emotionally-driven indie pop, written during the pandemic quarantine, built on catchy melodies and musical hooks, and ringing with the energy of a live performance.
Scarlet and Geoff, the creative force behind Merlot Embargo, spent much of 2020 and 2021 on hiatus from performing in public. Though the break was forced, it did have an upside: the space to write new music. And they certainly have made the most of it.
After writing, and rehearsing, and refining with their band, they've released "It Could Be Worse," their third in a series of new single releases, all of which will eventually culminate in their second full-length album.
"It Could Be Worse" is a bouncy, hooky indie-pop song with catchy guitar lines and a strong, confident vocal delivery. It deals somewhat ironically with the subject matter: toxic positivity and complacency, especially as related to societal progress. The single is a demonstration in tasteful tension and release, thoughtful lyrics, and melodic risk-taking.
As the third single from their upcoming, yet-to-be-named sophomore album, the song marks a turning point in Merlot Embargo's writing and production style. Brought on both by the distress of the pandemic and the dissatisfaction with their previous "sound," "It Could Be Worse" explores new avenues for Merlot Embargo, both lyrically and musically.
The rest of the album is currently in production and will be released either in late 2023 or early 2024.
"I hope our songs not only get people nodding their heads, but bring moments of self-reflection," says Scarlet. It's a goal that "It Could Be Worse" achieves.
Merlot Embargo Bio
Their story started with a nearly fatal car accident: an all-night drive halfway across the USA, and a high-speed highway crash near San Antonio that crushed their little Toyota Yaris, and sent them scrambling out its newly-destroyed rear window. Scarlet and Geoff walked away (nearly) injury-free, but that brush with death, and subsequent time of self-reflection, loosened their creative energy and gave them the drive to share their music with the world.
Some would consider the duo an unlikely pair: a seat-of-the-pants, artsy singer-songwriter, married to, and making music with, a music school nerd and engineer. But the blending of their different approaches to music, and life, has enabled them to create music that walks the fine line between familiar and provocative. Sonically, they've created something akin to Brandie Carlile and Adele, backed by a band raised on the Beatles and Radiohead and the Roots. They temper each other's worst musical tendencies, and in their good moments, foster the other's best quirks.
Merlot Embargo record out of their home studio in LA, where they are also busy raising their daughter Joanna, and performing regularly with (and without) their band throughout the southern California region. Their music is diverse but rooted in the classics. While they strive to make each song something fresh, Scarlet’s powerful voice and Geoff’s groovy guitaring make it all feel like Merlot Embargo. Their on-stage banter is akin to their recorded music: relatable and real, occasionally pushing the edge of what's comfortable.
They released their debut album, "Don’t Look Back," in 2016, and were excited about the response from both fans and critics. Although they’ve had a few slowdowns since then (hello, new baby! hello, covid!), they’ve been hard at work releasing many new singles, videos, and performing. During the pandemic, they performed weekly "Live from Home" acoustic shows on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other streaming platforms. It was a great way to build a little community during a rather depressing time.