Empath Eyes’ debut EP, East to West, is a breath of fresh air on the planet of alt rock jamtronica. With subtle influences of electronic music, heaping helpings of funk and thoughtful lyrics, this project gives listeners a taste of what’s been cooking in the Empath Eyes Studio. Empath Eyes is the brainchild of guitarist Jeff Warnock and keyboardist Christian Sheridan (Sheri), and East to West features a handful of talented local musicians.
The first track on the EP, “Something to Say”, kicks things off with the sonic equivalent to walking outside on a crisp, summer day and taking in a breath of morning air. The track features vocals from Ryan Everly and Vanessa Marie as well as Warnock and Sheri. The lyrics inspire open-mindedness and self reflection, and the fluid song structure keeps the track interesting. The harmonic vocals give the choruses range and mash seamlessly with Sheri’s powerful organ toned keys. The track was written by Warnock and features percussion and strings from Sam Goodman.
Next up was my personal favorite from the project, “Alley”. Written by Sheri with percussion from Warnock, the high bpm track grips you from the intro with a bassline oozing funk from the seems. Progressing into a dark but bouncy downward scaling keyboard session, the track’s head nod offbeat breaks will keep you moving. Eventually leading into a flavorful session of guitar riffing with a side of phat synths, “Alley” is your full serving of juice for the day.
The third and final track on East to West, “Momma Bear”, was written by Warnock and Sheri with guest vocals from Gus Vuolle and Vanessa Marie. The track also features strings from Sam Goodman and percussion by Warnock. The track tells the story of someone caught up with the concept of playing it safe, when they truly know that exposing themselves to vulnerability is the only way to move forward in life. The instrumentation matches the vibe by alternating between an optimistic, uplifting tone and a grungier, darker mood. A smooth guitar solo from Warnock about a minute and a half in, combined with Marie’s harmonic vocals, gives this track serious depth. Closing out the track with the chorus, the track is a deep reflection on the people you listen to and how it can affect your choices in life.
Stream the project on Spotify here!
And stream it on Bandcamp here!