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Tuesday, October 3

World of Jeremy Enigk

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It's been ten years since Jeremy Enigk released his first solo album, "Return of the Frog Queen", so to say among fans of Enigk that the release of "World Waits" in two weeks is highly anticipated would be an understatement. The album has been gaining some very positive buzz due to the quality of the released tracks and the some great early reviews, but it seems that the album still has a biggest significance to long time fans of Enigk (who are used to waiting).

Before you go out and buy "World Waits" (which I hope everyone does), I think you should familiarize yourself with the Enigk's work (Sunny Day Real Estate, Return of the Frog Queen, The Fire Theft). This post is for the casual Jeremy Enigk/SDRE fan or someone who's not familiar with his work at all and would like to know the history of one of the greatest musical geniuses of our generation. Chad from Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands, who grew up in Seattle and has followed Jeremy Enigk every step of his career, has added a short statement about Suny Day Real Estate and their albums and we selected together one track that we think sums up the album musically.

Sunny Day Real Estate : Most young people go through phases in their musical interests. Bands come and go, CD's once played endlessly eventually find themselves confined to the back of the shelf. This was as true of me as of any one else, with one very notable exception: Sunny Day Real Estate. As an impressionable teenager, SDRE made its mark on me in a most powerful way, forming musical tastes that never really went away. Sunny Day, cliched as it sounds, helped me through a lot of hard times; more than 12 years since they first emerged with Diary, their music continues to impress, inspire, and move me. - Chad

Diary (1994, Buy here)
Simply put, Diary is what great, pure music is all about. Jeremy Enigk's enigmatic, beautiful lyrics and strained vocals, Dan Hoerner's amazing and complex guitar work, Nate Mendel's melodic bass lines, and William Goldsmith's overwhelming drum skills come together to form an album both rich and textured; an open journal of exposed feeling, raw emotion, and unrequited love. That the band was so young when such an incredible record was made (Enigk was 17 when most of the songs were written, 18 by the time they were recorded) only adds to the awe. - Chad

Diary is the album that changed my perspective on music, simple as that. It's still one of my favorites and the fact that music still stands up is a testament to how amazing it really is - Taylor

MP3 Song About An Angel

LP2 ("The Pink Record") (1995, Buy here)
This is the one they released after they had broken up, splintered apart by Enigk's breakdown and subsequent conversion to Christianity. LP2 sounds much different than Diary - more intricate and less "rock" - but like Diary, it's the kind of record that all but requires you to listen to it as a whole, each song strengthened by the one before it. - Chad

MP3 Red Elephant

How It Feels To Be Something On (1998, Buy here)

There were a lot of expectations surrounding the release of HIFTBSO. Having broken up rather suddenly in 1995, few people ever really expected SDRE to get back together, but they surprised nearly everyone by reforming (minus Nate Mendel, who was a full-time member of the Foo Fighters by that point) and annoucing plans to release a third record.

Thankfully, though, Sunny Day was smart enough to not try and remake either of their first two records with HIFTBSO. The songs were varied and often wonderful, but they certainly weren't rehashing "In Circles" or "Seven" with the more ominous and heavy rock of "Pillars", the full-on groove and subsequent freak-out of "The Prophet", the acoustic balladry of "Every Shining Time You Arrive" or the mellow, reflective beauty of "Days Were Golden". This is, for lack of a better term, a more "mature" record than the previous two; Enigk's vocals have more weight and less scream to them and the music surrounding him is definitely more full. As the band took the stage for their first show back together (in Seattle), I was standing in the crowd with a big ol' smile on my face. They had reformed, and they didn't suck. - Chad

MP3 Pillars

The Rising Tide (2000, Buy Here)
The Rising Tide was a very different album for Sunny Day Real Estate and it's perhaps the least accepted by fans. The sound is much more expansive and full and the songs are heavily produced to includ complex string and keyboard arrangements (much different from the raw nature of Diary). The melodies are much more direct and accessible on this album especially in tunes like "Television" or the pretty piano ballad "Rain Song". The title track of the album is perhaps the most anthemic song the band ever produced. To me it was a fitting way to the end the band's career. - Taylor

MP3 The Rising Tide

Return of the Frog Queen: After the band split up, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith ran off to join the Foo Fighters, Dan Hoerner went back to his farm in Eastern Washington and Enigk began a solo career. In 1996, he released an absolutely gorgeous record, Return of the Frog Queen, on Subpop. It was a sharp turn away from SDRE musically, filled with acoustic guitar, orchestra strings, and Beatlesque flourishes that showcased Enigk's remarkable ability to craft solid pieces of music around his uniquely passionate and unmistakable voice. A short (only 29 minutes!) but wonderful record kept afloat by standout tracks like "Explain", "Lewis Hollow", and "Shade and the Black Hat". - Chad

MP3 Shade and the Black Hat

Buy here

The Fire Theft: The Fire Theft was formed in 2002 by Jeremy Enigk with Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith. They released a self-titled album in 2003 that focused primarilly on classic rock influences like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd but also channeled the raw passion of Sunny Day Real Estate with tracks like "Heaven" and "It's Over." - Taylor

MP3 It's Over

Buy here

Download two songs from Enigk's upcoming "World Waits" (preorder here)

MP3 Been Here Before
MP3 River To Sea

Also make sure to visit the AOL Interface to listen to Jeremy Enigk's set. He recorded it a couple weeks ago and he played a couple new songs, as well as two from Return of the Frog Queen, and a Sunny Day tune.
posted by Taylor, 10/03/2006 02:00:00 PM | link 1 comments


good picture

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