Erisy Watt - Eyes Like The Ocean LP
Erisy Watt - Eyes Like The Ocean LP
Erisy Watt - Eyes Like The Ocean LP
Erisy Watt - Eyes Like The Ocean LP
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Erisy Watt - Eyes Like The Ocean LP

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Portland-based Erisy Watt will release her sophomore album Eyes like the Ocean on April 1 via American Standard Time Records. This is the highly anticipated follow-up to her 2019 debut hailed by No Depression as “an exercise in what contemporary folk today sounds like at its peak.” Having shared stages with revered acts including John Craigie, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and Dustbowl Revival, Erisy returns with a lovingly crafted, sophisticated collection of softly celestial folk songs, recorded live-to-tape and masterfully produced by Y La Bamba's Ryan Oxford.

 

Erisy’s sound reliably alludes to iconic vocalists of the 1960’s, but here, finds a more fitting home in the vintage-tinged indie ether of Bedouine, Haley Heynderickx, or Julie Byrne. Her vocals are intimate and alluring, an artful alternation between soothing whispers and gentle howls, backed by an instrumental bigness that evokes windy mountainscapes and piercing blue skies. Throughout Eyes like the Ocean, Erisy calls upon the expanse of earth and sky to navigate life as an adult woman—satiating restlessness, finding connection, and fostering that ever elusive sense of self that allows one peace.

Erisy Watt grew up in Nashville, but it wasn’t until she left the city of music for college in California that she began writing her own songs. Both of these formative settings are present in her creative instinct—Nashville’s knack for a timeless melody, California’s bewildering vastness and dusty free spirit—but upon these sonic bones lives a body of global adventure. Erisy is an environmental professional with a deep fondness for nature, and has spent time in eclectic locales like Nepal, Thailand, and Hawaii, most often in rugged, remote wilderness. She approaches the music profession with a similar sense of purity; she once toured Europe on foot, banjo on her back. This wide-open way of moving through a capacious planet enlivens Erisy’s music with true troubadour soul. Her songs spring not so much from one place in particular as from a series of well worn travel journals.

This stretch of inspiration calls for acute musical capacity, and fortuitously, Erisy no doubt knows what she’s doing. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, she can walk up and down a fretboard in gymnastic Jazz chords, craft complex guitar patterns in a wide range of tempos, and masterfully press her vocal performances past previous limits. In the midst of recording her debut album in 2018, Erisy underwent surgery to remove a problematic polyp on her vocal chord. While the diagnosis and procedure proved traumatic, Erisy discovered a new vocal freedom in the healing process. Today, she describes the feeling of being uninhibited, both physically and creatively, as integral to her artistic evolution. The transformation is most palpable on crossover hit "Big Sky," one of Erisy's oldest songs, which she polished to shine.

On Eyes like the Ocean, Erisy lets her newly liberated talent shimmer, but her real art is in connection: tracing the invisible vessels between an ocean’s black depth and a mountain peak’s twinkling tip, tracking the slow immensity of glacial paths to the monstrous canyons they carve. She ties her insides to the outside, taking tips from the cosmos, a naturalist with a knapsack of stardust, making luminescent the dark parts of her path, finding a way forward.