Monday 28 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Key master

Key master

Eliza Rickman may tickle the ivories on a toy piano, but her sound is anything like child’s play.

Joshua Boydston May 16th, 2012

Eliza Rickman
7 p.m. Saturday
Istvan Gallery
1218 N. Western

Eliza Rickman’s songs sound like a music box that plays a blend of Florence + The Machine and Danny Elfman’s scores for Tim Burton films, all thanks to her accidental secret weapon: a white toy piano.

“I actually started using it out of — debatably — either necessity or laziness,” Rickman said. “Most of the venues in L.A. don’t have pianos, and I was lugging around a god-awful, 90-pound keyboard. I took it with me to a coffee shop because it was a hell of a lot less trouble to transport than my keyboard. I didn’t even care what it sounded like.”

It proved to be more beneficial than the powerhouse singer imagined.

“I discovered that night that it complements my voice really well,” Rickman said. “Writing songs on it has forced me to have a more minimalist approach. I’ve had a ton of people tell me that the pairing of my voice with an antique toy piano is creepy, but I think it’s dainty and sweet. I’m all about dainty and sweet.”

That split-second decision shaped her burgeoning career. Her two albums showcase the chanteuse’s background in classical music and orchestration.

“I was an arranging major in school, and learned to orchestrate specifically for strings,” said Rickman, who plays a free show Saturday at Istvan Gallery. “Even the songs that don’t feature strings are intricately arranged, and I’m quite proud of that.”

Her charming brand of classically inspired chamber pop recalls Andrew Bird, PJ Harvey and Kate Bush. That touch of Gothic influence manifests itself in a poignant Nick Cave cover to close out her current CD.

“I think ‘Into My Arms’ is the best love song ever written, and I had to try my hand at it,” Rickman said. “I’m glad my recording of it seems to resonate very strongly with people.”

The emergence of effervescent singers nationally surely aids her ascension through the indie-music ranks, even if she’s blissfully unaware of the fact.

“I’ve actually never thought about that. It totally makes sense to me, but I’ve been kind of in my own little world, musically, for about 10 years,” she said. “I’m a bit oblivious to what all is out there. I’m still listening to my Siouxsie and the Banshees records.”

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