So Ed O’Brien has stepped out of the shadow of his gargantuan, world-renowned band Radiohead to drop his first-ever solo album, Earth.
Ed had never planned on recording a solo album ”Thom, Jonny, and Phillip are making music,” he says, “and I’m like, ‘The last thing the world needs is a shit album by me.’” Says Ed, thankfully Ed is a fine musician and that was never going to happen, but what do the heart and mind and musical freedom of EOB sound like, we all know of the musical diversity and experimentation that is Radiohead but how would Ed’s solo project translate to the masses?
The album’s opener ‘Shangri-La’ tells you that Ed has his own unique voice and style and he is not afraid to express it, a quirky sounding number with an easy on the ear feel and melodic quality that shows the quality within. ‘Brasil’ lures you in with a false sense of security selling itself as an acoustic number before turning into a chilled out EDM number and bringing a wry smile to your face. ‘Deep Days’ has a sultry feel that Ed delivers beautifully, ‘Mass’ has a cinematic quality to it that you can just feel the tension created and the drama which exudes through the speakers, ‘Banksters’ raises the bar once again with a higher energy track poking fun at the financial system and its inequality.
From time to time the drum beats hint at a dancey-vibe flowing through the music beyond the usual alt-rock-indie backbone to his day job as displayed through ‘Olympik’, but Ed has chosen to step away from the norm here and make an individual statement. A fine recording, one for the independent thinker, a hugely personal and cathartic process I am sure for Ed throughout this journey and one which will resonate Radiohead fans alike. The album wraps up with a duet with the lovely Laura Marling in an emotive and haunting sounding track ‘Cloak Of The Night’ to leave you absorbing what you have just heard.
Earth is out Friday, April 17th via Capitol Records.
OFFICIAL SINGLE “SHANGRI-LA” OUT NOW
3. Deep Days
4. Long Time Coming
7. Sail On
9. Cloak of the Night
Dates and locations of EOB’s first full scale North American tour will be announced shortly. The proper tour will follow a series of four intimate shows in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto in February 2020. These exclusive events and the upcoming tour will see Ed joined by a band comprised of Hinako Omori, Ross Chapman, Dishan Abrahams and Alvin Ford, Jr.
Ed O’Brien Tour Dates:
02/07/20 — Toronto, ON — Great Hall
02/08/20 — Chicago, IL — Lincoln Hall
02/10/20 — New York, NY — Le Poisson Rouge
02/13/20 — Los Angeles, CA — Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
03/07/20 — London, UK — BBC Festival 6
06/13/20 — Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music Festival
07/24/20 — Luzern, CH — Blue Balls Festival
07/31/20 — Newport, RI — Newport Folk Festival