Written by Lauren Rosier
A child’s words can be powerful.
Don’t let me fall
Don’t let me break
Don’t let me suffer
Every single mistake
Singer/songwriter Eric Anders initially heard those lyrics and thought of it as an attempt to write a love song, but then thought, “what if these words were directed at me, or us, her parents?” But then that’s when it hit him, her lyrics were her generation’s plea to the older generation to not leave them with a messed up world: “Don’t let us fall/don’t let us break/don’t let us suffer/your mistakes.”
Anders‘ daughter, Evelyn, had written some lyrics and music to a song, but it was Anders and his music and writing partner, Mark O’Bitz, who worked together in finished the track.
“Evy wrote the first third of the first verse: music, melody, and lyrics. Mark and I were blown away by how good her start to this song was for an eleven-year-old. Evy just told me that she was actually ‘just experimenting with newly-learning chords’ and she created a little melody she really liked. She didn’t know where to go with the song after that and she was happy to have Mark and me finish the song for her,” Anders explained.
This the start of the track, “Searise,” a track from singer/songwriters, Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz.
Let’s go back a bit, though, to how the pair met. In 2002, Anders attended one of Mark‘s shows in the Pasadena, CA area, Anders’ former hometown, and introduced himself to O’Bitz. The two planned to work together on some original takes on some covers. The pair ended up with several, including their own version of “Blister In The Sun,” which is their most-streamed song on Spotify.
“We ended up then also writing a bunch of songs and in 2003, I released Not At One, and Derek Sivers of CD Baby said it was ‘one of the best CD’s I’ve ever heard,” Anders mentioned.
Going back to “Searise” and its origins… It was an odd creative process for them, Anders had mentioned. They wrote the song as a side project, while they were working on their 2018 album, Ghosts To Ancestors. Originally, his idea was to write a song that Evy would sing, but she didn’t want to sing on it back then when she was just 11 or 12 years old. Anders was only able to get her to sing on it, only after Joseba Elorza agreed to create a music video in 2020.
Mike Butler produced “Searise” while working on Sirens Go By and “Careful Now My Son.” Both of Anders‘ daughters, Evy and Lilah, sang their parts and sounded great. They helped with backing vocals on the pair’s 2018 single, “Matterbloomlight.”
While “Searise” itself does not have a conscious source of influence, several artists have influenced the pair over their musical careers. The track, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” on Sirens Go By is a definite nod to the late, great Nick Drake, while their album, American Bardo, was inspired by Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood’s style for a more bluesy and darker sound. That record ended up on Pop Matters’ Top 50 Americana Albums of 2020. Following the Pop Matters recognition, they did return to their singer/songwriter style for the album, Sirens Go By.
While working on Sirens, the pair was looking for someone to work with on a music video for their track, “Always Almost.” Anders mentioned that he had seen Joseba Elorza‘s previous work for other artists (Air Review, Green Day) and was blown away by his vision and artistry.
“I sent him ‘Always Almost’ and I tacked on ‘Searise’, too. He had wanted to make a climate change music video for a while, so he was drawn to ‘Searise.’ We’re planning to work together again, hopefully sometime soon,” reveals Anders.
Both artists are always hard at work on music. “We are working hard on our next album, Stuck Inside, the next installment of the collection we ‘music in the time of coronavirus.’ My initial plan for Stuck Inside was to put out a 5-song EP of songs that were more rockin’ than the songs on Sirens Go By. Now I am wanting to put out a full album of songs Mark and I have been working on since we finished writing for Sirens Go By in late 2020,” Anders divulges. “Stuck Inside is now going to be a full album: a collection of songs with eclectic styles, but all of them will reflect what we were experiencing and thinking about during the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the rise of right-wing lunacy and acting out, and the last year of Trump’s illegitimate presidency and his treasonous political bent, but a lot of the songs are very psychological… about being “stuck inside” ourselves. We expect to release Stuck Inside this summer.”
Connect with Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz