May 9, 2013
(*but I was too afraid to tell you)
Before the new EP is released I would like to share with you a bit about the backstory of its creation. It’s a dark EP and the story behind it is also pretty dark (my apologies ahead of time for bringing you down!). There aren’t any upbeat tracks. Most of the tracks’ lyrical themes deal with loss and searching for meaning. The only instruments are voice and piano.
At the end of 2011 my wife and I separated after 6 years of marriage. Any separation or breakup is difficult and, even though it was a mutual separation, it was no less difficult. For the first few months of 2012 I felt quite helpless. After going down the wrong path and paving over my emotions I decided to focus on my music to help get through it. Over the summer I began recording for, what I was considering at the time, a full length album. I had big ambitions for the album...strings, drums, bass, 10-12 tracks of full band material, instrumentals. It was, in essence, going to be a concept album detailing the man in the bunker’s (re: Art Elliot’s) existence. After laying down all of the piano tracks and most of the vocals I stopped. I just stopped recording. I began to isolate myself in my apartment. I stopped eating well. Most of my days consisted of walking down to the beach, sitting on a bench and wondering what had gone wrong (this is where the song, Hello, comes from if you’ve been following along). I tried to keep up the appearance that I was busily working on the album, but it was a lie.
All of the songs on the new recording were written while my wife and I were still together, but things were starting to come apart. It was as if I knew the end of our relationship was in sight, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. I thought these were songs about someone else, but I ultimately realized that they were about me. This is why recording them after I had separated from my wife was so difficult and I think this is why I stopped recording.
Last October I went home to visit my family in Iowa. I remember calling my mom from the airport and saying that I needed to see a doctor. They quickly realized something was wrong. In the months preceding my trip home I had become obsessively worried about getting sick. I had lost a lot of weight and was experiencing fatigue like I’d never experienced before. I was pretty sure I had some sort of sickness and that my body was failing me somehow. What I didn’t expect was that the doctor would sit me down and tell me that I was experiencing a bad bout of depression. It came as a shock to me but it explained a lot.
I ended up spending November with my family and taking the time to get better (or, at least, better enough to convince my parents that I could come back out to California).
After a few months of being back in California I became determined to finish the full length album that I had started. What I didn’t realize was how difficult it would be to go back to those tracks. I started to relisten and came to the conclusion that it was impossible for me to continue on with such an ambitious project that my heart was not really in anymore. So I decided to cut back the full length album to a 6 song EP and to forego the chamber pop aspect of it for a sparser version of piano and voice. I finished up recording a few odds and ends and am now mixing it with the help of a friend.
I’m glad to be closing this chapter of my life and moving on to something different. I’m a little unsure of what will come next. I just know that it has to be something different. I’ve been telling everyone that I’d like to do a straight ahead power pop album (something more along the lines of Mr. Hartman’s Rock Garden) and that idea really appeals to me, but we will see. I’m also unsure if this is the end of Art Elliot. I had more adventures planned for him so it might not be. I think a jaunt in a completely different artistic direction would be totally rejuvenating right now. The new EP is titled Goodbye and I think it’s good to say bye to Art at least for now.
Art Elliot’s sophomore EP is due out summer 2013.
Apr 30, 2013
I'm on the homestretch with the EP! Recording is done and I'm working with my friend, Michael Denten at Infinite Studios, on mixing. It is sounding really good and I am grateful for his invaluable knowledge and help. I expect the mixing and mastering to be done in about two to three weeks. After that the EP goes to replication. In the very near future I will be setting up an EP release show. Stay tuned. Yay!
In other news I'm starting to book more shows. I tend to go through phases: recording/playing live...repeat. Keep checking the Shows page to see where I'll be playing next.
Finally, this summer I'm proud to announce that my friend Eli Wise and I will be cramming our gear into a small car and touring the great Pacific Northwest. Keep your bunker radios tuned to this station for more life-saving information....
Apr 1, 2013
For those of you who don't follow my Facebook page, the new album has been cut back to a 6 song EP. This new EP documents a time in my life that I can't afford to dwell on any longer. While the bunker has served its purpose for the last few years I feel the time is coming for me to leave. I've cracked open the door to the bunker and the sun is shining, plants are growing again and the fresh air smells sweet. Whatever seemed to have happened in the wasteland has passed and a new day has dawned. I'm feeling better than ever before. Expect the EP out in two months if all goes to plan. You can also expect big changes coming down the pike.
Feb 8, 2013
Tomorrow night I'll finally get to play a place I've been wanting to play for over a year, Viracocha. Here's a link to their website. Such a cool place and a great vibe. The show starts at 8pm. Also playing will be Dawn Oberg and Ladies in Blouses. This show will not disappoint! Link to the FB event page can be found here.
Feb 4, 2013