SONG PREMIERE: E.G. Phillips Pays Nod To Jazz Standards With Soft Crooner “An Alternate Route (To Your Heart)”

When E.G. Phillips talks about his musical influences, it sounds like some cosmic cocktail party: Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Blossom Dearie, Tom Lehrer. And don’t forget the time-traveling gate-crasher: Talking about his lyrics, Phillips says, “One of the parlor games that I’m sure people could play is ‘Spot the obscure Doctor Who reference.’”

What it all adds up to is some of the most compellingly originally, slyly humorous, and sneakily affecting singer-songwriter music you’re bound to hear in this homogenous age. And Phillips brings all of that to the table on his bold new album, At Home At Sea (out July 12th). The new disc builds on his 2017 debut Fish From The Sky with material written since he started playing out on ever-inventive San Francisco scene.

This is not to say it was a straightforward journey — a few songs on the new record are resurrected from the distant past with new lyrics while others had been temporarily mothballed but then given new life. While the subject matter may have been up in the air, Phillips was sure that he wanted to emphasize his love of jazz music this time around when he went into the studio with producer Ben Osheroff.

Phillips assembled an impressive team of local musicians with whom he’d previously shared bills and developed personal relationships (some of whom “accepted payment in the form of bottles of wine,” he jokes) for the album. And he tasked them with bringing his alchemic creations to life.

Today Glide is excited to premiere “An Alternate Route (To Your Heart)”, one of the standout tracks on the new album. It’s each to hear Phillips’ love of jazz music come through in the quietly whimsical piano and simple, emotive brush stick drumming and standup bass. Phillips has a quiet, loping vocal delivery that feels relaxed and confessional, playing the role of lounge crooner meets street busker. 

Speaking on the inspiration behind the tune, Phillips has this to say:

“I had in mind the Tony Bennett and Bill Evans collaborations when I wrote ‘An Alternate Route’ — which is why we decided to go with the piano trio, with producer Ben Osheroff on the keys. There’s also a bit of a nod to my past life as a Geographer as well to the jazz standard ‘Detour Ahead’, which Evans famously covered on the Village Vanguard sessions.

It’s one of those cases where the song, at least for me, is really all about the bridge. This one’s a winding beast that backtracks and goes off in different directions — never settling on a harmonic progression that repeats, only going further afield, as do the lyrics. The ending was serendipitous— its dissonance owing more to misplaced fingers on my part when I was composing than to any sort of theory.

Within the context of ‘At Home At Sea,’ I feel like this one walks the line between the darker and lighter takes on attachment — resolute and hopeful yet also sober if not already a bit resigned. From my perspective, it’s sort of an older song, but one that absolutely had to be part of this collection for thematic as well as sentimental reasons.”


At Home At Sea is out July 12th. For more music and info visit

Photo credit: Andy Strong

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