Click for video interview where they talk about the single and forthcoming album...

EMBRACE‘s new single ‘Hooligan’ – released on Monday – finds them veering away from the ponderous big ballads and swaggering rock bombast of ‘The Good Will Out’ towards a looser, almost Gomez/Beta Band like territory.

It also features Richard McNamara on vocals rather than brother Danny, who wasn’t actually present at the sessions. It also features a kazoo!

[url=]Click here to see Embrace interviewed on the new album, scrapping material and songwriting.

[url=]Click here to see Embrace interviewed on the disappointments of the first album, about competing with Gomez and The Beta Band and who’s to blame for the kazoo.

“I wanted that sound they had on Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Crosstown Traffic’” Richard, sporting new-look dreadlocks tells NME. “Steve (Firth, bass player – Ed) said to me ‘That’s not a kazoo, it’s a guitar solo!’ But I always thought it was a kazoo. I wanted to avoid a guitar solo, ‘cos I just think they sound really cheesy. So we had ten of these silver kazoos, testing them out, and eventually found the sound we wanted.”

Danny was also recently quoted as saying that the new album sound was “full of funky humanity” which set some pretentiousness detectors on red.

“Actually, I got the phrase from an NME review of us from last year,” explains Danny. Ah. right. Pretentious? Nous? “It was Stephen Dalton, and he said we had ‘less morbid introspection and Led Zep pomposity and more funky humanity than anyone ever gave them credit for’. And it really touched me that did, that someone noticed that. Because I think some people have had us down as somehow being pompous, and self-important, and because we were full of these epic songs and quite full-on heartfelt music, they got this idea that the music must be bombastic or something.”

“But a lot of that was just an honest reaction to the situation that we found ourselves in. After spending nine years playing toilets, to suddenly be thrown into being on the front covers of the music papers and on radio and TV, it has an effect on you, and also has an effect on your music. It makes you a bit over-serious, a bit defensive and uptight about what you’re doing, and you’re a bit over-eager to make everything all the more pronounced so that you’re understood above and beyond all that.”

The new Embrace album will follow next year. You can read the whole of Johnny Cigarettes feature on Embrace in NME, on sale now.