The album, “Sierra Sierra,” starts out with a wavy synth gradually growing in volume until untamed drums crash 23 seconds in. Two bars later a cavalcade of keyboards paint the full texture of this snow-covered dream pop vision.
A lyrical delivery reminiscent of vintage Flaming Lips soon unfolds “House of the Wizard.” As per usual, I have no idea what Easy Giant architect Chris Emmington is actually saying — not that I care.
Hooks, snippets, melodies and harmonies are constructed around a single theme without being overwrought, as if distilled by nighttime reverie from some forgotten castle in the sky.
The second tune, “Mister Ray,” enters with a bluesy guitar riff and sawtooth synths below vocals layered with a sound that screams early-1960s pre-psychedelic, rock B sides.
This 18-minute EP is Easy Giant’s third release in as many years. What I love about Emmington’s writing streak is that he presents ideas simply for what they are. Hooks, snippets, melodies and harmonies are constructed around a single theme without being overwrought, as if distilled by nighttime reverie from some forgotten castle in the sky.
“Follow Me” repeats this same winning anti-formula by tagging a great line with a solid descending guitar lick and some truly inspired drumming that makes me wonder if Emmington has finally unleashed his inner animal.
The ensuing track, “Like a Wolf,” comes in heavy on bass and drums beneath Emmington’s trademark stacked vocal harmonies, yet manages to achieve a welcoming sparseness in its swirling production.
“The Seeker” arrives with of circus of keyboards until a dirty trap beat raps us out into the spinning tapestry of this indie house burner.
The final track, “Ethos,” takes off like a bat out of hell, harmonica blaring over a churning guitar lick and mad scientist skin thumping. Easy Giant shouts into the vast void for anyone who might happen to hear.
The album was written, recorded and produced completely by Emmington at his apartment and studio in the central Oslo neighborhood called Grønland where he works as a music composer on an artist work visa.
“This release is a bit different because I just wasn’t originally intending on it,” he says. “I had just finished an album, ‘To the Moon,’ some months earlier and was planning to release just a single, but then had some other songs fall into place. So that was cool to have some more stuff to share.”
Songs from the album have been featured in snowboarding icon Danny Davis’s Peace Park 2017 on ABC, Absinthe Film’s “Turbo Dojo” and in a Red Bull project by Norwegian pro mountain biker Mads André “Makken” Haugen.
“All those dudes rip.” says Emmington. “I am very honored to be a part of any and all of those productions.”
After working multiple jobs and playing in numerous bands to stay afloat at Lake Tahoe, Emmington is on a tear since releasing his debut solo album as Easy Giant “Holy Wave” in 2015 and moving to Norway the following year. He already has demos laid out for a 2018 full-length LP.
“I love to write music, man,” he says. “It’s by far my favorite thing to do. So, I guess that keeps me going. And just listening to a lot of music gets me pumped to make music. So I guess as long as I am getting fuel for the fire, the fire is going to stay hot.” | easygiantmusic.com