What do you get when you give a whole lot of nostalgia a modern do-it-yourself twist? Probably something like Eric Frisch‘s Music Under Sea. The New York City based artist mixes fun pop tracks with songs that trace honest heartbreak. It’s a record that gets you feeling some Summer in December, and who doesn’t need that right about now?
A piano opens the album, but breaks open into the super-catchy riff-driven “Slow Draw/Feeling In My Heart”. Not only does the track introduce the album’s duality, but the spoken word break introduces the romantic nature of Eric Frisch’s songwriting. “Drift Away” has an effected distance which works thematically. Here is our first taste of Frisch’s dream-pop element. “Telling You Because You’re the Only One” brings the retro inspiration full-on. Cheery piano compliments folky vocals.
Frisch has been open about the production of the album, and embedded in many of the songs are the go-with-the-flow stories of their creation. “Heaven”, for example, was originally a different song, but when the vocal track was accidentally muted, Frisch found a new line he liked better. Similarly, “Goodbye Slowly” has ad-libbed lyrics that began as filler, but ended up perfect. You can watch the video for that track here, and the video for the summertime Beach Boys-type jam “The Light Ahead” here.
“In the Morning Light” and “Make You Mine” bring the pace of the album down, with the former a New York shout-out to his apartment production, and the latter exploring Frisch’s vocal range. “Can’t Believe You’re Gone” has a more melancholy feel that contrasts with the album’s opening. Slowly, each piece of instrumentation comes together for a strong ending.