By Lisa Waugh
I hope Eric Frisch doesn’t mind if I enjoy his music, in part, because his vocals are giving me the Michael Stipe feels. Frisch’s new record Music Under Sea stands on its own, but that added bonus of R.E.M.ness is totally welcomed.
Frisch drew upon another era (the ’60s), explaining the gorgeous retro sound. “I drew a lot of inspiration from bands like Real Estate, Foxygen, and Best Coast, while of course still staying true to my Beatles and Beach Boys roots. Nothing I can do about that,” he said. Nor should he. It works.
There are textures of bluegrass, folk, and an indie rock beat. There’s not a dud track in the bunch. Standouts are “Heaven” and “Can’t Believe You’re Gone.” Both of those tracks really stuck with me. Frisch has a way of addressing heavy topics with a light hand, leaving the listening to interrupt whether a tune is helpfully melancholy or suitably intense or whatever you need it to be.
And like many exceptional indie records, I always enjoy the story of how they are made. Frisch describes the making of Music Under Sea this way, “I wrote the album over a year, and I recorded it and produced it myself. I used two microphones to record the entire album! A Shure-SM57 and a little condenser mic, and I think the sound is pretty great. I recorded a lot of it in my rehearsal space in New York City, which is why you’ll hear sirens at the beginning of ‘In the Morning Light,’ they just simply passed by as I was recording it and I really liked it so I kept it in there.”
Frisch’s appeal is that he’s ready to share his missteps. “The song ‘Goodbye Slowly’ is about a breakup I had with a girl named Elizabeth. I completely ad-libbed the words to the song, thinking I would re-record them later on, but I really liked the words and how honest they were so I decided to keep them. I also couldn’t manage to capture the sound that I had from the first vocal performance, so I just kept them. I really took the relationship for granted, and I found it really hard to end it, which is why it’s called ‘Goodbye Slowly.'” We can relate.
Eric Frisch – Guitar, piano, vocals, bass, percussion
David Cornejo – Drums
1. Slow Draw/Feeling In My Heart
2. Drift Away
3. Telling You Cause You’re the Only One
5. The Light Ahead
6. Goodbye Slowly
7. I Can’t Wait Much Longer
8. In the Morning Light
9. Make You Mine
10. Can’t Believe You’re Gone