“It was an amazing dream,” rocker and multi-instrumentalist Erik Eimiller says, setting the scene for how his debut 80s-esque new wave-vibe single, “Cross the Ocean” came to mind. “Vivid. Palpable.”
Okay, yes. Tell us more.
“It was like a full-on music video,” the Buffalo-based artist obliges, detailing his REM cycle. “The singer was running towards the camera, and running away from something terrifying, whatever it was, that was chasing him.
“The chorus for what would become ‘Cross the Ocean’ was blasting inside my subconsciousness, and the chord progression and melody line were ingrained in my mind as I awoke. I quickly grabbed my phone and recorded a voice message, humming the vocal line while clicking my teeth to the beat.
“I couldn’t quite remember all of the words, but I had what I needed.”
Watch and listen to ‘Cross the Ocean’ here:
With much of the track locked in, the only elements remaining were the verses. Enter: COVID-19.
“A month after this dream, the pandemic strikes our world and the media coverage, naturally, is non-stop. Just 24/7, every news channel, every radio station… It’s just about impossible to block out.”
It was here that Eimiller — a life-long accomplished musician who’s played thousands of stages as a drummer — took a step to the side, observing the happenings from an empathetic and storytelling perspective, as he aims to do in his richly descriptive songwriting. “The coverage started to consume some people to the point of paranoia.
“I feel for those people because I understand that fear is real.
“Perhaps the only solution would be to ‘run away from the television’ because ‘you’ve got time to make yourself feel right’ — which is the chorus of the single. Once I realized the fear, the verses hit me like a ton of bricks.”
The video for “Cross the Ocean” serves as the perfect complement, and weaves the storyline and vibe together with striking visuals, colour processing, and overall mood. This, of course, is by no accident. “My sister Amy created the video, and she harnessed that nostalgic, yet futuristic feel with perfection,” Eimiller says of the song’s visual representation.
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