Eric Colville

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BIO: Eric Colville

What you notice first about Eric Colville is his voice, which is reminiscent of Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens, or Evan Dando of The Lemonheads. Neither comparison, however, captures the versatility and power of Colville’s vocals. Whether he’s being defiant, introspective, or campy – depending on the song – his voice grabs you and keeps you listening.

Despite having vocals this good, the real genius of Colville’s work lies in his lyrics. Every composition contains rhymes that sound perfectly natural – and then persist in your head for days. What are the songs about? They’re always about something. Clearly, Colville is in his element when mining the pleasures and frustrations of relationships. Back to Bed is a sultry invitation for a Sunday morning. Picture Us Together and DMMLY both rock, but while one revels in the thrill of feeling sure about someone, the second conveys the ambivalence of post-breakup sexual encounters. Then there’s the frenetic alt-country 12-Step Program, a wildly singable and danceable tune.

Colville’s nuanced songcraft is even more evident when he’s treating non-relationship themes. Two iridescently beautiful numbers are Wind on a Wire and 35 & Thinking. One describes a momentary glimpse of a young woman ice-skating on a pond; the other contemplates the ugly possibility that it may be time to give up on a long-cherished dream. In contrast, Man I Am, an over-the-top rant against conventions about what we’re “supposed to” do, is impossible not to move your body to. On whatever topic he chooses, Colville manages to deliver a fresh take along with a winning melody.

OK, so what can you expect from an Eric Colville song? Count on his great voice and smart lyrics, a good groove, and some first-rate musicianship and production. The rest is less predictable. Colville’s songs range from playful pop to torchy blues to dark ballads to in-your-face rock. What mood will the next track put you in? Which situation will he take aim at now? How exactly should you categorize his music? Have fun with the questions. And rest assured that the constants in Eric Colville’s music are so strong that once you’ve heard a few of his songs, you’ll know exactly what “his sound” is.

Among his favorite influences, Colville lists Simon & Garfunkel, Mark Knopfler, Wilson Pickett, Brian Setzer, Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, and the “Kings” (BB, Albert, and Freddie). The most important figures in his pantheon, however, will always be John, Paul, Ringo, and George. Perhaps as a result of growing up in the Florida Keys without TV and in range of Havana radio stations, Colville’s perspective on the world is somewhat unusual.

Eric is presently based in Ipswich, located on Boston’s north shore.


X-Ray Glasses

Produced and recorded by Matt Ricthey at
Possum Hall Studios in Hampton Falls, NH
Mastered by Lenny Delorey

X-Ray Glases is a wonderfully crafted eight song EP with a great mix of tracks that are all very well balanced. The thing about Eric Colville is that he is a splendidly smart songwriter, and it shows through numerous occasions.

“DMMLY” is a great example of his lyrical prowess, and he never appears to miss a beat. An up-tempo soft rock-sounding track, complete with harmonica and claps, “DMMLY” carries you right along with its cheerful guitar strumming and its strategically placed supporting organ notes.

While his lyrics aren’t exactly groundbreaking for the most part, he does find creative ways to address his themes a la Bob Dylan. An apparent example of his exceptional skill is a “1000 Miles.” Along with the catchy drums and guitar, the lyrics about moving on after a tough relationship stand out. The guitar solo fits the mood perfectly and finds a place without being too distracting, offering a little extra bit of spice. Taking a different tone is “Remember to Forget,” with a noticeably simpler theme, though the rhythm and rhyme stay true to Colville’s formula. But this EP’s true winner is “X-Ray Glasses,” a catchy, country jazz-sounding track that could be a fantasy B.B. King/Bruce Springsteen collaboration. His true talent shines through the easy to follow lyrics accompanied by the even easier jazz background. Eric Colville Band’s X-Ray Glasses goes far beyond going through the motions; it goes through the ranges and delivers. (self-released) - Josh Innocent

Josh Innocent - Northeast Performer Magazine (May 4, 2009)


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