Review: Erica Eso – 192
National Music Reviews
Erica Eso = Yves Tumor + HOMESHAKE
Bedroom pop is one of my top genres, but that doesn’t mean I’m not picky—I hate listening to the same 10 sounds over and over again. If you’re looking for something with a little edge but is suitable for some chill listening, Erica Eso’s 192 is for you.
192 has it all: The album is like Still Woozy meets Tame Impala with a dash of Frank Ocean’s Blonde for good measure. No matter your taste, you’ll find a song that strikes you. For me, bedroom pop is at its best when the artist lets the sound grow and move within the same song. As much as I love a catchy riff or interesting chord progression, too often I find indie and bedroom pop repetitive and easy to tune out. 192 never loses that edge. With the longest track being 7:37 and most clocking over four minutes, there’s plenty of room for the sound to move.
The opening track, “Y.L.M.E.”, presents a different soundscape than the rest of the album. The initial synth sounds like something out of a video game and pulls you right in as the vocals set the scene, “Your love means everything.” Listening immediately put a smile on my face, and the lyrics continued to add depth to the love Eso describes, with lines such as, “What’s the difference between a mirror and a jail?” The song is bittersweet without being depressing, tender without sugarcoating and audibly engaging all the way through.
Eso guides you into each listening experience with surprising deftness as you listen. “Opening Tumble” is the perfect example of this and quite possibly my favorite song off the album. The bassline, while subtle, provides a solid background as the synths keep things interesting; everything meshes perfectly with the floaty vocals. “Opening Tumble” made me check the tracklist to see if I was still listening to the same song, and it was a pleasant surprise when I found I was.
192 is a dynamic, cohesive and refreshing album. It’s exploratory without losing its central message and sound, and it’s great for background music or as the focal point. I recommend listening while lounging in a place with a lot of natural light, watching as the rainstorm outside becomes a snowstorm, just as the sounds of 192 shift and change. The cat I had on my lap is optional but definitely added to the listening experience. –Alexis Perno
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