Sunken Treasure Records

columbus ohio

Eric Metronome

Say what kid?! You haven’t heard of Eric Metronome? I mean, he’s been making music for more than a decade. He’s big in Japan (no really, he is—there’s a boutique in Tokyo named after him). He’s toured all over the place with former band Tiara, who released some mighty fine records for some mighty fine people like Anyway and Grand Theft Autumn. And now he’s up to his eighth solo album, the soon-to-be released You Should Be Happy. Ring a bell?

If not, that’s cool–lemme clue you in. Mr. Metronome is a Columbus, Ohio‐based musician/singer/songwriter/basement studio tinkerer who has been compared to artists of whom you’ve surely heard like Elliott Smith and Doug Martsch. For the past decade or so, he’s been recording and releasing solo albums intermittently between those of Tiara, his band which disintegrated amicably earlier this year after eleven years and five albums. Some of those have been on labels (like a split-album with Super XX Man for Post-Parlo’s Home series) while others have been more casual affairs that Eric distributed on his own. One commonality among all this work has been Eric’s easily recognizable talent—as a songwriter and as the creative force behind every sound heard.

But it is no overstatement to say that You Should Be Happy is the record that best shows those talents. It’s the fruition of years spent writing songs and capturing the melodies in his head on tape. While a completely lone venture (Eric also recorded and mixed the record), this album is much more than a vanity project. Eric’s created fully realized songs that pair keen lyrical observations with a menagerie of fetching sounds.

While the record is peppered with great moments, some standouts include “Call It a Day,” an electro-pop reflection on his band’s break-up; “Moving Water,” an affecting bit of honey-coated melancholy; and “Time to Destroy,” a Youngian dirge spiked with spite and malice.

But the record’s centerpiece is probably “Copycat.” Here Metronome, in a clever self-reflexive manner, recalls Elliott Smith, a certain influence on his music that can also be heard on “You Made It Easy,” while at the same time criticizing someone looking to usurp his musical hero by aping his style. It’s a perfect balance of self-consciousness and pop smarts done by someone who has recorded two discs worth of Smith covers.

In addition to interpreting the songs of Elliott Smith, Metronome embarked on an ambitious project earlier this year. Since January he’s been recording a cover each week and posting the results on his website (www.ericmetronome.com). Seven months into the endeavor, he’s recorded more than 30 songs by artists ranging from Syd Barrett to Pedro the Lion to Pat Benatar.

However, it’s his own music that sets him apart. So get to know Eric Metronome. You Should Be Happy you did.

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