« Le chanteur-compositeur Mark Eitzel, lun des talents les plus aboutis et pourtant criminellement sous-estimés au monde, continue à mitonner de la musique excellente dans lindifférence générale »
« Retour sombre et sobre dune des voix les plus troublantes dAmérique »
Le songwriter ténébreux Mark Eitzel a été le fondateur en 1982 et la tête pensante du groupe culte American Music Club, magnifique et chaotique initiateur dun folk- rock orageux. Menant de front une carrière solo impressionnante mais largement méconnue par le large public, il poursuit ses incursions désabusées dans les arcanes du songwriting américain, faisant feu de tout bois, entre rock, soul, blues, pop et jazz.
Narrateur surdoué, à la plume précise et acérée, Mark Eitzel écrit des textes au rasoir, dune poésie abrupte, aux teintes amères et envolées cyniques, quil enrobe darrangements homogènes, dinstrumentations subtiles et pointues. Cest dans latmosphère de lAmérique mythique de Jack Kerouac et John Cassavetes quévolue « ce troubadour à cur fêlé, au destin empoisonné » (Les Inrocks). Dans son storytelling dérangeant, il ne cesse darpenter la toile de fond décomposée et sombre des revers de lamerican way of life sur lequel il fait planer ses idées noires.
Pratiquement invisible aux yeux du grand public, Mark Eitzel a tout de même composé quelques-unes des plus belles chansons du rock américain. Sa voix décorché vif, magnétique et fugace, na jamais été aussi parfaite, louvoyant entre les registres et en préservant sa suavité si caractéristique, ce mélange entre langueur et désespoir.
Top intègre et lucide pour lindustrie commerciale et le monde qui lentoure, il promène sur lhumanité un regard cynique. Pourtant, la mélancolie torturée, voire même le romantisme échevelé de ce juif errant, nont jamais été aussi captivants et intenses.
Sa carrière affiche un tableau composé de neuf albums avec son groupe American Music Club et cinq en solo. Le nouveau et superbe album Dont Be A Stranger fera donc office de sixième opus en solitaire, un album qui frappe directement à lestomac et au coeur, dune générosité à la profondeur océanique, et des chansons servies par une interprétation dune densité sidérante.
Mark Eitzels new record, Dont Be a Stranger, released by by Décor Records in Europe/Australia/NZ on Sept 24th and Merge Records in the US on October 2.
After a string of bad luck that included a heart attack that set him back several months and the implosion of his band American Music Club, Mark Eitzel fortuitously found himself in the studio with celebrated producer Sheldon Gomberg (Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Ben Harper), thanks to the generosity of a an old friend. The result is Eitzels finest solo album in over a decade.
Mark began writing and recording the songs that would become Dont Be a Stranger in early 2010. Initially planned as the next American Music Club album, it quickly became evident that the new songs would work better as a solo album. He visited the UK for a few months to play the All Tomorrows Parties festival and to help launch Marine Parade, the musical he co-wrote with Simon Stephens, which premiered at the Brighton Festival and has gone on to be produced in Germany.
Then in May of 2011, Mark suffered a serious heart attack that kept him flat on his back and out of circulation until the following October, he had to seriously re-evaluate his lifestyle and habits and take a step back from the recording. Good luck suddenly appeared in the form of a friend who had just won the lottery and offered to fund his recording in a professional studio. Producer Sheldon Gomberg put together a band that included Attractions drummer Pete Thomas and American Music Club guitarist Vudi on a few songs, as well as a full string section and many Los Angeles musical luminaries. The collaboration between Mark and Sheldon had an organic sound resulting in a generous and beautiful record, about which Mark says, I wanted to make an album more reminiscent of records like Harvest by Neil Young or Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake than anything Ive previously done.
Inspired by his experience writing a musical, Marks songwriting is simpler on this record and lyrically reflects a more straight-ahead approach. There is a haunted quality to tracks like I Love You But Youre Dead (a song based on seeing the punk band Destroy All Monsters) and The Bill Is Due, which are about broken promises, leftover people, the desperation one feels when time and cash are running out, and ultimately, the feeling of not knowing what comes next. Break the Champagne and Nowhere to Run were written in a fit of creativity just days before the album was completed.
Mark Eitzel has released over 15 albums of original material with his band American Music Club and as a solo artist. The Guardian has called him America's Greatest Living Lyricist and Rolling Stone once gave him their Songwriter of the Year award. Originally formed in 1983, American Music Club released seven albums before breaking up in 1995 and finally reuniting in 2004 for two more albums.
Mark plans to tour Europe in early 2013 and the US later this year with his band Mark Eitzels Warm Gentle Rain. His live set consists of a mixture of songs from his rich catalog, including selections from American Music Club as well as newer material. Marks touring band will consist of piano, bass, and drums in the classic lounge style, but he also plans to bring the chaos in the form of his electric guitar. Renowned for his self-deprecating sense of humor, Marks live shows are always unique and unpredictable in the best possible way.
Great reviews in Mojo 4/5 UNCUT 7/10 Pitchfork 7.4