By Robert Masiello
There’s a timeless quality to Eddi Front’s music, which is particularly impressive given that she’s only released a smattering of tracks to date. While it wouldn’t be accurate to call her sound “retro,” she channels a certain authenticity, which feels increasingly rare in the music world. Her songs are refreshingly devoid of vocal effects, electronic flourishes, and irony. There are no overwrought attempts to conjure up a shadowy ambience, and no cryptic press releases. The sense of yearning that permeates her tracks is purely a result of honest lyrics and sophisticated instrumentation, not cheap studio tricks. While listeners seeking belted choruses and dramatic bridges might be left cold, those who appreciate a more nuanced approach to confessional songwriting will be entranced.
Front (real name Ivana Carrescia) was kind enough to offer some insight into her upcoming record for us folks here at Writer’s Bone. While she admits that we’ll be waiting until 2016 for her proper debut, all signs indicate that the wait will be worth it.
Robert Masiello: You seem to have sprung up out of nowhere in 2012, but a couple articles indicate that you recorded music under diﬀerent aliases beforehand. Is Eddi Front a character you're playing, or more simply, just the name you've chosen to record music as?
Eddi Front: Well, I released a lot of music under a couple diﬀerent names before EF, mostly two- minute long demos and a few EPs. I was making up songs in my room and then putting them up on the Internet like the next day. It was nice and simple. I made some studio recordings with friends who wanted to produce the songs, but the “production” experience was just kind of alien to me—to add a lot of sounds/a bridge, repeat a chorus, etc. Like, “I already said that.” A lot of producers lost their hair. Then around 2012 I started wanting to create a mood with instrumentation/structure and it started making sense to spend some time with the songs. Actually it was like a world opened up. The first song that clicked like that was “Texas.” I worked with pianist/producer Dan Chen for the EP. So the studio recordings came out under Eddi Front.
RM: You satisfied fans hungry for new tunes by dropping "Elevator" earlier this year, but have been mostly quiet since. Can we look forward to a proper LP before the year ends?
EF: It’ll be out in early 2016 with more music to follow. Was hoping to make it happen this year but my dog died.
RM: Did you write most of the new album following the release of your EP, or is some of the material older?
EF: It’s about a 50/50 mix.
RM: How would you say your sound has evolved over the years? Does your sound on the upcoming LP take any major shifts?
EF: Well, when I went in to make this record it was late 2013. It’s the same production style. It’s like an extended version of the EP, I’d say. I played a lot of electric guitar on the record but it still carries that same feeling. The recordings I’m makings these days however, and probably in the past year, do have a diﬀerent feel. I am producing myself now and playing all of the instruments. The new(er) recordings will come out in 2016 as well.
RM: Your music typically sounds sparse and lonesome, but there's also some memorable kiss-oﬀs and humor in the lyrics. Is that an intentional part of songwriting for you?
EF: It’s probably intentional. This was a hard question. I guess I write like how I speak/think, in a way. And sometimes, you know, it makes me laugh.
RM: I distinctly remember hearing your music for the first time in December of 2012. It was a perfect winter soundtrack for me—desolate and elegant, but somehow still warm and empathetic. Do the seasons impact your mood or songwriting?
EF: Yes I prefer the winter/fall. I feel calmer and just better all around when it’s cold out. There’s one sort of manic song on the record, which was written one summer about baseball.
RM: In a 2012 interview with Line of Best Fit, you mentioned some artists who have really inspired you as a songwriter. I'm curious, what are some of your biggest non-musical sources of inspiration? Any particular books, poems, movies, or events that have influenced your songwriting?
EF: I’ve always loved e.e. cummings. My top three are probably JD Salinger, Charles Bukowski, and Raymond Carver. One song on the upcoming record is loosely based on one scene in “Franny and Zooey.” I love Lydia Davis. Her Collected Stories and The End Of The Story played a role in the song “Gigantic.” I watch a lot of Forensic Files, the Kardashians’ shows, other reality shows, and documentaries. My favorite doc is “The Cruise” with Timothy “Speed” Levich.
RM: What new (or newly discovered) music has caught your ear in 2015?
EF: Let me take a look at my list. I listened to “Champaign Kisses” by Jessie Ware 45 times this month, and Circuit Des Jeux’s “Fantasize The Scene” 30 times. I’m new with Kanye West and I love him. The band Disappears. Fasano and a lot of the Godmode Record artists. He is not a musician, but Chris Dankland’s videos/writing have been very inspiring. I listen to a lot of the same stuﬀ over and over, so I'm back with The Shins in these days.