In an age where Auto-Tune is recognized as music and overproduction takes the place of the stripped down and acoustic, Army of Me's latest EP, Make Yourself Naked is a welcomed reminder of where it all begins. On Make Yourself Naked, singer-songwriter Vince Scheuerman breaks things down and takes the listener on a journey.
"I never intended for anyone to hear this music," Scheuerman said. In fact, the recordings on Make Yourself Naked were originally meant to be song ideas and demos for the next Army Of Me record. It was recorded on his laptop, in his bedroom in Washington DC.
Reminiscent to that of Switchfoot singer-songwriter Jon Foreman's seasonally themed EP's released last year, Scheuerman pours his heart and emotion into each track, inviting listeners into his bedroom. With the overlying theme of love, the EP includes the beautiful "Don't Be Long" and "Love Song" (listen below).
While a definite contrast from Army of Me's debut album, Citizen, the five-song EP was Scheuerman's first attempt at self-recording: he only had a microphone, guitar, keyboard and laptop to work with. The result is a raw EP of honesty and intimacy.
Revealing his vulnerability, with delicate finger strumming on "Love Song" Scheuerman sings, "Love I want to give myself away/Love I want to receive you back in the same way/I make no sense on my own/We're meant for each other/This is love/I forgot the part of my heart that could burn for someone/Happy surprise when I can't take my eyes from you/You are something sweet/Surely have captured me/But I know I will stay anyway."
"Lost At Sea" draws numerous aquatic metaphors, allowing the listener to come to his own conclusion while "On My Way" paints a vivid picture of a man on a long and uncertain journey. Beginning with soft strokes of the piano, "Don't Be Long" ends the EP with an ethereal chorus to the fadeout of the song, begging the listener to question what's in store next for Army of Me. A solid release, it is hard to believe Make Yourself Naked was recorded in Scheuerman's bedroom on a laptop. Nonetheless, it is often these intimate moments that make the best music.
To listen to "Love Song" click here. Be sure to visit Army of Me on MySpace for tour dates and to purchase the EP.
• Audio Interview with Vince Scheuerman of Army of Me
• I'm With the Band
• Army of Me Invades Brooklyn
• Q&A with Vince Scheuerman