Earth City 1: The Longing represents Los Angeles-based Ethan Gold’s second full-length album proper, his first since highly regarded debut Songs From A Toxic Apartment (2011).
That's a 10 year interval. One reason for the break between releases is the accident that left Ethan Gold living without his cognitive skills and ability to communicate. It was a period when he was unable to utilise all the personality traits we generally define ourselves by. But Gold says, “my soul was still very much there and I could feel it there the whole time.”
Music wound up being a primary healing technique. Playing different instruments, and listening, was a major activity that helped Ethan Gold rewire his brain. Then living in New York City, he would sit in a nearly empty cathedral on Broadway listening to Bach organ music, as well as visit Tompkins Square Park to hear Puerto Rican and Cuban drummers. “Sitting and listening,” he reveals, “allowed me to rebuild my neural pathways.”
Once he began writing songs again, Gold discovered he was able to tap into a simplicity and directness that wasn’t there before. For many years, he had written his songs largely in his sleep and then put the finishing touches on them during the daytime. “What I try to do when I write is connect to my muses who speak to me and they speak to me largely through dreams,” he explains.
“But since the head injury, I have found that my connection is even stronger.” Rather than tinkering over his songs, Gold says that he now typically finishes the words and music before breakfast. “Part of that is my sense of purpose and mission with what I’m doing is very strong. I know why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Having performed, recorded, and mixed his debut album at home, for his new album Gold focused on keyboards, guitars and bass, but also wanted other musicians and mixers to bring a wider energy to the songs of Earth City, with their global perspective. For album credits, please see below.
Even before making Songs From A Toxic Apartment, Ethan Gold received accolades for producing and arranging Elvis Perkins’ influential Ash Wednesday album.
More recently during his recovery time, Gold has been involved in a number of other projects. He put out several well-received singles, including “Not Me. Us”, composed the film scores for Don’t Let Go (Universal/Blumhouse) and The Song of Sway Lake (directed by his filmmaker twin brother Ari, and featuring John Grant and The Staves singing Ethan Gold’s songs), and released two albums of very enjoyable oddities: Expanses (Teenage Synthstrumentals) and Live Undead Bedroom Closet Covers.
With his Earth City albums project, Gold is happily flying in the face of current trends that emphasise singles:
“Music has become such a disposable art form. Why can’t music take on big topics in a slow way – making something that will reward you with time and patience?” he asks, adding “Why does music have to be like lighting a firecracker? I prefer a river to firecrackers any day of the week!”
- The first of a trilogy of albums, Earth City 1: The Longing is scheduled for Summer 2021.
- Preceding its arrival will be singles: “Alexandria & Me” / “In New York” (out now), followed by "Pretty Girls" (April 16th) and “Bright & Lonely City” / “Storm Coming” (May 21st). The first pair takes on two decaying American cities. “Alexandria & Me” is an anthem inspired by the thrill and terror of chasing ghosts in downtown LA; and “In New York” is a snowy, and smoky, late-night ode to the city that never sleeps.
- For video, images, song notes, and album credits — please see below...
- Music & lyrics by Ethan Gold
- Produced by Ethan Gold
- Lead Vocal: Ethan Gold
- Background Vocals: Ethan Gold, Natasha Leggero, Heather Porcaro, Miranda Lee Richards
- Electric Guitar: Ethan Gold, Dave Cobb, Jason Soda
- Acoustic Guitar: Ethan Gold, Dave Cobb
- Classical Guitar: Ethan Gold, Jonny Polonsky
- Bass Guitar: Greg Lee, Ethan Gold
- Piano: Ethan Gold, Ryan Cantwell
- Drums: Darren Dodd, Fredo Ortiz, Brian MacLeod, Jimmy Paxson, Ethan Gold
- Synthesizers: Ethan Gold
- Ebow: Dave Cobb
- Shaker: Ethan Gold, Jason Soda
- Drum Machines: Ethan Gold
- Tambourine: Ethan Gold
- Melodica: Ethan Gold
- Ukulele: Ari Gold
- Cello: Phillip Peterson
- Violin: Victoria Parker