It’s nice to know that not all artists rely on auto-tuned, grossly budgeted, overproduced tracks to get their music recorded. Not only is Eric Frisch real, he’s a hardworking, masterful improviser who prides himself on the old-school ways of recording great music.
That approach is probably what I like most about Frisch’s new EP Late In The Night. Aside from the backup vocals, all of the songs were recorded on one take, and to tape. And what truly blows my mind is that the opening track, “As Long As I’m Alive,” was completely improvised lyrically. I mean, as a songwriter myself, how is that even possible?
“I tried writing words to it beforehand, and I just couldn’t do it. For whatever reason, I had writer’s block,” said Frisch.
“But I knew I really wanted to record the song. It has this great piano chord progression that was really beautiful. All I had for words was ‘As long as I’m alive,’ that’s it. And I knew I wanted it to be a love song. About how someone would go to any lengths in the world to be with the one they love. We did four or five takes of that one, all with completely different words, and I ended up liking this take the most.”
Call him pop, indie, indie pop or alt-rock, Frisch says he’s drawn inspiration from bands like Real Estate, Foxygen, Two Door Cinema Club and Best Coast, but really stayed true to his Beach Boys roots. It’s evident the most with the track, “Loved You All Along,” which has that classic 60s Beach Boys feel that has incredible dynamics and chilling harmonies.
And looping back to the hard work, it’s terrific how Frisch simply sits down and grinds out music. Case in point? Late In The Night was recorded, well, late in the night.
“I recorded the album with my band from midnight to 7am one night at Canterbury studio in Toronto. That’s why I called the album ‘Late in the Night,'” said Frisch.
“We were gonna be done for the night after we had ‘As Long As I’m Alive,’ ‘Late in the Night’ and ‘Loved You All Along’ because it was pretty late, we were all kind of tired, and my band didn’t know any more songs of mine. But I quickly taught them ‘Turn On Your Light’ at 4 in the morning. The engineer rolled the tape, and it took a take for us to really get into a groove on it. But once we did, what we got was amazing. The way the bass and drums sound on that song is perfect.”
And the result is solid.
While piano-heavy driven “As Long As I’m Alive” appears to be the most popular song on the EP, “Turn On Your Light” really stands out on its own; it’s an acoustic-driven country-western toned track that also has an element of pop rock; it’s very smooth, clean and tight; it’s a perfect soundtrack for being in love; The most memorable line: “you’re my beating heart forever.”
In fact, what I also admire about Frisch’s latest work is its uplifting and positively spirit. It’s refreshing; such writing is very difficult to accomplish. Just ask Alanis Morissette, Kurt Cobain or any other of the countless rockers who have thrived with emotional, shoegazey or punch-you-in-the-face lyrics.
Frisch’s songs are pop-rock power ballads for the soul. Considering “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is possibly my favorite song of all time, it’s easy to see how Frisch welcomes his Beach Boys influence into his song writing.
While I worry his music is a little too safe — some of the songs sound a little too similar and don’t immediately grab you — there’s no question that if Frisch keeps producing songs of the quality heard with Late In The Night, a larger audience will soon take notice.
Josh Helmuth is an editor for Crave and a longtime music lover whose first record was Eric Clapton. However, his first concert? That choice he will take to the grave.