EMBRACE were at the top of their game when all went quiet for the Yorkshire band.
With record sales topping 2.5 million, and their most recent album entering the charts at No.1, it might have been the obvious move for the five-piece led by brothers Danny and Richard McNamara to keep up the momentum, but instead Embrace seemed to fade from sight.
Only now, seven years on, have Embrace returned with a self-titled sixth album set for release in April.
"It was never planned we would take that long," guitarist Richard admitted.
"Initially we thought we’d maybe take a couple of months, then four years later we were still strangers to each other. I think we had worked so hard for so long that at the end it felt it was getting a little bit out of our control and we were making decisions for the wrong reasons."
The break allowed the band to rediscover their love of music making - in Richard's case through working as a producer with young bands.
Frustratingly though, the current state of the music business is such that many of these bands broke out before their albums could even be released.
Richard channelled his own frustrations into songwriting and eventually Embrace recorded an album of fresh material and decided they were ready to face the public again, testing the waters with a secret gig in the boxing club Richard had joined during the band's hiatus.
"There was definitely a nervousness about it, but when we did the gig in the club and the cheer went up, it was amazing," he said.
"You suddenly think to yourself: This is where I’m meant to be. When you get that, there’s no feeling like it."
The more intimate set of Scottish gigs the band are doing ahead of the album’s release, among them shows at The Loft in Kinloss and The Ironworks in Inverness, are shows to particularly look forward to.
"The audiences in Scotland just want a good time and there’s nothing like having a bunch of people having a good time singing your songs back to you," he said.
• Embrace appear at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, on Friday 14th February; The Loft, Kinloss near Forres on Saturday 15th February; and The Ironworks, Inverness, on Sunday 16th February.