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Peter Eldridge: Disappearing Day

Dan Bilawsky By

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It wouldn't necessarily be inaccurate to refer to Peter Eldridge as a "singer-songwriter," but that tag definitely does not fit him. Such a label just undercuts the creative brilliance behind his music, diminishing the beauty, truth, strength, wit, and compassion in his work. The man is far more than a simple spinner of songs. His is the true voice of understanding, speaking on its own terms while also capturing and expressing the emotions that we all feel. If ever there was a singular artist capable of showing us the singularity in ourselves, it's Peter Eldridge.

Disappearing Day—Eldridge's fifth album to date—is an out-and-out masterpiece. It delivers a dozen of the most spellbinding tracks you're likely to encounter in 2016. The mix contains clever takes on classics ("Witchcraft," "Some Other Time"), imaginative arrangements of offbeat material (The Magnetic Fields' "I Wish I Had An Evil Twin"), nods to vocalist-composer peers (Luciana Souza's "House"), a post-millennial Paul McCartney gem ("Jenny Wren"), and a good number of captivating originals born of collaboration(s) with ace writers like Cliff Goldmacher and Marco Brito. And while all of that information may paint this album as something of an artistic hodgepodge, the music itself says otherwise. Eldridge's mellifluous voice and piano, along with clear-headed and consistent production values, perfectly tie this material together.

More than a dozen of Eldridge's collaborators and close friends come and go throughout this album, helping him realize his vision(s). There are trio tracks that home in on the strong rapport between Eldridge, bassist Matt Aronoff, and drummer (and co-producer) Ben Wittman; there are pieces that present with tremendous warmth and depth, thanks in large part to the addition of strings and/or the blend created by a rotating cast of A-list background vocalists like Alan Hampton, Jo Lawry, Laila Biali, Lauren Kinhan , and Janis Siegel; there's an absorbing original that focuses on the heavenly vocal pairing of Eldridge and Becca Stevens ("Wish You With Me"); and there's even an opportunity to hear The Elm City Girls' Choir give beautiful voice to Eldridge's music and James Thurber's words ("Around Us"). All twelve tracks resonate, and each does so on a different level or in a different way. There's almost too much beauty to bear here. Praise be to Peter Eldridge for delivering Disappearing Day unto us. It's a winner through and through.

Track Listing: Mind To Fly; Looking Forward To Looking Back; I Wish I Had An Evil Twin; Jenny Wren; Forever Blue; Wish You With Me; Driving To Town Late To Mail A Letter; Scared Of The Dark; Witchcraft; Around Us; House; Some Other Time.

Personnel: Peter Eldridge: vocals, piano, leg slapping (3), wooden plank (11); Alan Hampton: guitar (1, 2, 6, 8), vocals (1, 3, 7); Matt Aronoff: bass; Ben Wittman: drums, percussion, harmonium (2), accordion (8); Jo Lawry: vocals (4, 7), triangle (1, 4); Laila Biali: vocals (1, 4, 8); Jess Lewis: guitar (2, 12); Marc Shulman: guitar (3, 7); Caleb Burnhans: violin (4, 5), viola (4, 5); Mariel Roberts: cello (4, 5, 7); Anat Cohen: clarinet (5); Lauren Kinhan: vocals (5); Janis Siegel: vocals (5); Becca Stevens; vocals (6), guitar (6); The Elm City Girls Choir (10).

Title: Disappearing Day | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


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