Eric Athey | Swirling Sea

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Country: Americana Rock: American Trad Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Swirling Sea

by Eric Athey

Singer-songwriter who blends the tastiest elements of American music from the 60's and 70's - from outlaw country to garage rock to sunny California folk-rock
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Wrong Way
4:14 $0.99
2. Jenny's Gone
4:21 $0.99
3. Prince of Fools
2:51 $0.99
4. You Don't Believe Me
2:34 $0.99
5. Friday Nights
2:46 $0.99
6. Swirling Sea
5:02 $0.99
7. Snowed In
4:16 $0.99
8. November
3:41 $0.99
9. Loneliness
3:00 $0.99
10. Tail Lights
3:18 $0.99
11. All of the Rivers
4:29 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“Swirling Sea” is the fourth album by Lancaster, PA-based singer-songwriter Eric Athey. Athey’s stellar band on “Swirling Sea” includes veterans from his prior records: Dave Boquist (ex-Son Volt), Mark Boquist (ex-Mark Lanegan Band), Mike Santoro (ex-Whiskeytown) and Michael Stark (ex-Johnny Dowd Band) - as well as guitar and lap steel work from Jason Shegogue (Bronwen Exter). The record also features horns and vocal contributions from members of stellar Ithaca-based bands Big Mean Sound Machine and The Blind Spots. Ithaca-based studio wizard, Matthew Saccuccimorano, produced and added percussion.

Asked to describe his latest release, Athey comments, “We weren’t aiming to stick to any particular genre or era of sound - but I hear rock and country from the ‘60s and ‘70s in many of the songs.” Clearly, songs like “Prince of Fools” and “Friday Nights” are a nod to the Bakersfield sound of the 1960’s - while “Jenny’s Gone” serves up an earful of sunny California folk-rock. Athey continues, "Folks who listen to a lot of music are going to hear influences throughout - I tried to suppress that on prior records, but this time around we just had fun. If one of these songs sounds like a lost B-side from some old radio hit, then that’s our small tribute to those performers.” Although many of the songs are easy on the ear, the record offers up a fair helping of snarl and grit as well. Lovers of garage rock will appreciate the lone cover song on the record - a rousing rendition of The Pretty Things’ “You Don’t Believe Me” (co-written by a pre-Led Zep Jimmy Page). “Snowed In” and “All of the Rivers” are both blues-rock numbers that simmer into a full-on attack at their conclusion. Similarly, “November” grooves like a mid-70's soul ballad before erupting into a nasty Hammond B-3 solo a’la Deep Purple near the end. “We tried to throw some curve balls and make the songs unpredictable. Some new instrumentation and arrangements. We used horns and backing vocals in ways that are reminiscent of old country hits from the rhinestone era. One of the songs has five acoustic guitars strumming in unison - a first for me. We even have a clavinet solo in there - I forgot clavinets even existed,” said Athey laughing.

Overall, the lyrics seem to mirror the ups and downs of navigating relationships, love, loss and renewal - all with a sly humor interspersed throughout. At the center of the record is the title track - a duet with powerhouse vocalist Maddy Walsh (The Blind Spots). “Swirling Sea” opens with a question one might ask a departed loved one:

Did the night pull you out like an undertow
Losing sight of the distant shoreline
Just a narrowing band of gold afterglow
Stepping outside the passage of time

While concluding with an open prayer to the singer’s maker:

Oh Lord, when I die leave me hopeless in love
Reaching up for your best gifts in heaven
Leave no meanness, leave no fear - to restrain my heart
Leave no doubt that it won’t last forever

Athey's earlier releases “Going & Gone”, "Time/Distance" and "Open House” (all available on garnered favorable reviews from No Depression Magazine and AmericanaUK. Athey's longstanding listeners will enjoy hearing his evolution as a songwriter - while new listeners will just dig the sounds. Give “Swirling Sea" a spin.
Reviews of Athey's Prior Releases:

"Watch this space, Eric Athey might well be destined for great things. The album is almost a virtuoso display of interesting and varied songwriting...."
"...thirteen songs of consistently high quality...a class piece of work..." Americana-UK

"...When a dozen or so rootsy discs with unfamiliar names on the front surface each month, you end up looking for elements that separate one from the rest of the pack. On Eric Athey's Open House, those things are melody, crunch, and brains, plus vocals with the right amount of spit and unpolish - a pretty persuasive four-pack." No Depression

"Five stars - ....This is winning roots rock music at its best. A new album with a new sound for the rock enthusiast...What a sound!" Roots Music Report

"Four stars - ...The simplicity and allure of many of these lyrics just hit home,...This is a very promising debut from a songwriter that has the ability to tell everyday stories with real emotion." ALTCOUNTRYTab.Com

"...F***in' A, what a great record!" Jack Sparks, The Other Side of Country

"Eric Athey has provided the first surprise of the new year. This singer/songwriter from Pennsylvania has released a very remarkable CD with his debut Open House." (Netherlands)

"...a wild rollercoaster ride of unflinching emotion...delivered...with raw urgency [that] weaves [a] tale through smartly written songs that are at times hard hitting, biting, and often bittersweet. Open House is a gripping album of first rate roots-rock from the very talented Eric Athey."

"...urgent electrified rockers courtesy of Eric Athey, a Lancaster, PA native with a knack for spinning tough tales and lacing them up with a rock and roll drama." Country Standard Time

"...the thirteen songs...convey a sense of unflinching recall and remembrance with a be-damned attitude...he can definitely write." House of (German)

"....The thirteen tracks on this CD unfold like a mini-drama, from infatuation, to alienation, to self-destruction and beyond...As I listened to it, I truly did want to hear what was coming up next. I truly did want to hear all the way through the CD to find out how it all turned out. I won't spoil the ending for anyone except to say that it seemed to end on a realistic note." Clink Magazine



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