February 16th, 2017: Alabama Deathwalk premiere dramatic video from debut
Central Texas songwriter Eric Reed’s emo/indie/Americana alter ego
FFO: Sufjan Stephens, Appleseed Cast, Low, Mountain Goats
Watch & share “Friends” video (YouTube)
Hear & share Steep Hills album
“An Americana take on emo, something that finds itself on the spectrum between The Weakerthans and Pinegrove, with a bald lyricism that recalls the likes of John Darnielle.” — Consequence of Sound
The geographic intersection of the ghosts of yesteryear and the electric hum of modernity is at the forefront of the music of Eric Reed. For the past eight-and-a-half years, El Paso native Reed has worked under the moniker Alabama Deathwalk. Once a disciple to the heavier corners of prog-rock, Reed went through a West Texas rebirth as a singer-songwriter. His emphasis shifted from complex instrumentation to in-depth narratives-from riffs to lyrics. And here in the mountains of the Southwest, 700 miles from LA and 760 miles from the Texas/Louisiana border, Reed has spent nearly a decade honing his craft, occasionally recruiting friends to round out the project into a full band, and solidifying his reputation as one of the region’s premier songwriters.
While Alabama Deathwalk harbors vestiges of Americana traditions-acoustic guitar underpinnings, forlorn ballads, stripped down production-the music made by Reed sounds distinctly modern. Western twang has been excised in favor of the electric austerity of Weakerthans and Low. The folk parables of old country have been replaced by the kind of stark vignettes uttered by Sufjan Stevens or John Darnielle. Reed doesn’t sing about shooting a man over a lovely barmaid, but he opens the song “Friends” with the admission that he’s “lost three friends in the last two years.” El Paso may no longer be the lawless Wild West, but the undercurrent of death is still present.
Every city has its unsung troubadours, but with regional shows supporting artists like Built To Spill, Sleepercar, Deer Tick, and Porches under his belt, Reed is already pollinating his craft outside of the downtown crowd. And with a new album in the works and an upcoming tour dates with Jim Ward on the calendar, it’s only a matter of time before Alabama Deathwalk passes beyond El Paso and into the greater national consciousness.
Steep Hills is available on CD and download as of October 21st, 2016 via Bandcamp.
Artist: Alabama Deathwalk
Album: Steep Hills
Release date: October 21st, 2016
01. Two Weeks
09. Confessions Pt. Two
10. All At Once
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