Several years ago, Derek Eisel left Seattle to make his home on an island off the coast of Washington, where the farmlands are lush and the community of a mere 2,000 brims with music and homemade tortillas.
Though Eisel’s debut EP, Last Resort Fire Department, is born of a man who recognizes the beauty of his life, it also explores the balance between what can be considered heaven and, of course, its counterpoint. The beauty around him becomes a backdrop as Eisel explores the emotions that unfold between two men, and the challenges and sweet reward that sometimes simultaneously exist within a relationship.
“I’m trying to share an honest point of view and not make anything up. In all the songs there’s nothing fake in terms of what they’re about and how I feel,” Eisel says of his music, a quality that allows him to paint portraits of relationships that feel immensely human. Eisel holds together at the same time the joys of being married to his husband, the pleasure of former lovers and the lived possibility that relationships can fall apart or reconfigure with little warning.
“The songs explore a feeling of ‘I want to be in this, but I also don’t want to be in this at the exact same time.’ To me, that’s a lot more accurate to how a lot of relationships feel.”
The forthcoming EP was produced, recorded, and mixed by Johnny Sangster (Mudhoney, Neko Case, Mark Lanegan) at Crackle & Pop! Studios in Seattle, WA. In addition to Eisel and Sangster, it features Dan Walker (Heart), Andrew Joslyn (Courtney Marie Andrews, David Bazan), Bill Patton (Fleet Foxes), Rick Krejci, Rick Wever, and Jim Sangster.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the EP ahead of its official release on April 16th. Across the album’s four tracks, Eisel explores relationships with a charming and earnest folk sensibility. With a vocal tone and cadence that at times brings to mind contemporaries like Father John Misty, Eisel sings with a sense of poignancy that is complemented by a lush blend of guitars, strings, and pedal steel. There is tumult at times in the lyrics, but Eisel always seems to radiate a sense of calmness as he bears his soul. The result is a collection of songs that feel timeless, like classic country songs from some familiar past.
Derek Eisel describes the inspiration behind the EP:
I wrote these songs about the men in my life, one in my past and one in my present. They’re songs about love and loss, from the perspective of my one voice and my guitar and some beautiful accompaniment by some talented musicians on bass, electric guitar, piano, a little pedal steel, and drums. I was fortunate to work with producer Johnny Sangster.
I wrote these songs on Decatur Island, Lopez Island and Seattle, Washington. I hope they evoke some of the beauty of those places that I’ve called home.
For the last several years I’ve lived and farmed and played music and I’m excited to share these songs. I’m excited to play live gigs again this year in the Pacific Northwest.