A bright and spacious album release from Ethan Gold brings together some refreshing and classic sounds together by taking elements of classic rock and 90's rock and blending them into a wide eyed and vast soundscape to float through and rock along with.
The Earth City1: The Longing album is a sort of opus that really shines in the way of songwriting and performance as it takes you on quite a journey that feels personal lyric wise and takes on a vast rock sound with vocal harmonies, and a colorful palette of guitar and synths that give the record a living breathing effect.
This release is lush with an array of rock styles that touch on ambient undertones and a killer radio rock approach and although each track has a little something different to offer, from Beatles-esque keys to descriptive and detailed acoustic tracks that swell, the album still feels like a concept record.
Again, the songs have this incredibly personal inner vision sense to them that aren't quite existential but still very deepening in the way of storytelling and living a life and the chapters it comes with.
This was an absolutely beautiful record from start to finish and the songs have a way of painting such vivid pictures while hooking you in with musical melodies that rattle around in your head long after its ended.
With such a powerful release we wanted to have a chat with Gold about where this all came from and what we may expect next. Here's what happened.
RAG: Okay let's start with Earth City 1: The Longing album. This record has a killer classic rock influence all over it. Where did this album come from? I write a lot of music in my sleep, and try to make the sounds that I’m hearing, and honor what the songs seem to want. But I grew up with a range of sounds in my mother’s record collection, which included Stravinsky, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and Broadway stuff, and then I started getting my own things, which tended towards Bowie and Miles Davis. So that all inevitably ends up in there. RAG: I'm certainly hearing some great styles here. Who are some of your biggest musical influences? I like the classic, evergreen songwriters of people like Lennon or Leonard Cohen, but I prefer to add more sonic gifts, which is the influence of Eno perhaps, as well as other weirder stuff I grew up on, new wave, metal, as well as folk music. I want the music to be enjoyable whether you’re listening on the surface or listening deeply. RAG: How did this all start for you? When music became my refuge in youth. It was the safe place. Listening to music, or generally when nobody was around or very quietly, making it. RAG: What are you performing besides vocals on this record? Piano maybe? I played all the synths, most of the piano and percussion, a little of the bass and drums, and the majority of the guitars. I had some other people playing guitar as well. Dave Cobb did some guitar on five songs. RAG: What kind of things inspired the album? Is this a concept album? This is the first part of a trilogy. Since the music industry seems focused on singles these days, I'm going the other direction. The trilogy Earth City is about how we’re all living on the planet. This album is Earth City 1: The Longing and it’s probably the quietest of the three. It’s an album about that quiet state of looking into the future, wanting something but not knowing what it is. Which is often where change starts to happen in our lives. RAG: What are you doing when you're not working on music? Snorkeling. Eating. Trying to sleep, often not very successfully. RAG: Can we expect any music videos coming from you? I did seven music videos for this album. I just put them on a playlist on my youtube channel. You should check them out. RAG: Are you planning any live performances in the near future? With the pandemic, it’s a bit frustrating. I was in Europe in November and December, and did some shows and radio appearances, but several other shows were cancelled. A lot of planning for things that didn’t happen. I’m focusing on recording Earth City 2 now. RAG: How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first or chords? How does it work for you? I start with whatever shows up in the dream. Usually it’s a melody, and a few lines of lyrics, and arrangement of instruments playing in the dream in some form. Then I get to wake up and figure out what it wants to be in the light of day. RAG: This album felt like a big undertaking. Is there any advice you'd have for other up and coming artists out there? This business is not for the half-hearted. It’s a very tough thing to be an artist. So, my advice is to work on yourself, to fortify your sense of purpose. Be open to realizing it’s not your purpose and finding another path. And also, be opened to committing even more deeply than you realized you’d need to.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music? Keep listening.