Eric Ezra New Album ‘Amphibian’

The title of Eric Ezra’s album is Amphibian. One can’t be sure why he called it that. When we think of amphibians, we most likely picture frogs and such. Of these ten tracks, not one is about any of those hoppers. In fact, only one song is about a creature, which is a “Mosquito.” There is the title track of “Amphibian,” however, which is a propulsive, action backed instrumental. It sets the tone for the rest of the release.

All ten of the selections on Amphibian have single word titles, by the way, and it’s a little tough to describe Ezra’s music, which is always a good problem to have. Today’s modern instrumental music output usually ends up sounding like variations on EDM. It is oftentimes cold, metallic and mechanical. At its worst, it comes off like pop music created by a bored AI robot. Ezra’s sound is much different from much of today’s typical instrumental sounds, and in all the best ways. For instance, although some of these sounds are synthesized, there is also plenty electric guitar running through much of it, as well. “Automation,” for instance, is dark and dooms-y, much like the more devilish side of heavy metal, without really sounding much like heavy metal. In fact, a lot the guitar playing sounds a bit like California surf guitar music. If a resurrected Dick Dale ever tracked an album with The Chemical Brothers, it might sound a little bit like some of the music on this album.

While the guitar playing comes through loud and clear, it oftentimes arrives with an orchestra of other sounds surrounding it. It’s by no means just your basic guitar, bass, and drums sound. For lack of a better comparison, many of these recordings sound like movie soundtrack recordings without movies. You may feel like you’re watching some sort of action movie in your mind while these entries play out.

Ezra is from Chicago and cut his teeth in the indie rock scene. It’s only recently that he’s begun to delve into the more electronic side of the musical spectrum. He brings a freshness to it, however, which is quite welcome. Sonic repetitiveness is a good thing if you’re dancing at a rave where consistency is key, but if you’re listening to music at home or in the car, you need much more sonic variety. With these recordings, Ezra has combined his indie rock experience with a curiosity about newer musical styles.


Such brave experimentation may make it more difficult for Ezra to market his music. People tend to like sounds that are familiar. However, if you’re as adventurous a listener as Eric Ezra is a music maker, you may just be the correct target audience for Amphibian. Then again, if any movie producers get their ear on this recording, Ezra might just be able to match some of its tracks to a movie soundtrack. It stands on its own, though, with or without any potential cinematic connections. Do give this album a listen though, so you can hear its uniqueness. It’s rare to find music this original.

-Dan MacIntosh