Dear Ether
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Dear Ether

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"Message Bottle EP"

Pop Tomorrow!
Dec 14, 2008
Dear Ether – Message Bottle EP – self release
Dear Ether is the one man band of Portland, Oregon’s (via Seattle) Tom Erickson. This lovely five song EP features an assortment of stylings within the indie-rock/pop genre. Opening track “Calling your bluff” is an up-tempo driving twangy Meat Puppet-esque ditty with driving drum fills and head bombing guitar strums. Switching things up considerably in “For my pet”, Erickson’s sings in a manner reminiscent of Beatles and Beach Boys pop, bringing to mind Sloan and Teenage Fanclub, with strings and percussion melding blastings with twinkings. Making use of an electronic drum kit, a rusty tambourine, and a cheap banjo, the rough-hewn energy pouring from this album is uncanny. “Migration” remains in the same vein as “Pet” with more of the catchy and mildly morbid raw and emotional vibe. In some ways unknowable the aesthetic Message Bottle has the same sort of heart as fellow Portland group The Builders and the Butchers without as much obvious gloom. The layers of such a one man wrecking crew become, at times, a bit complicated, but never dissuade an appreciation of something genuine and proficiently adept. As Erickson sings in “Silhouette” “Well you might not like the sound of this but it fits me like a glove” - to call the lyrics interesting would be an obvious understatement. Perhaps the best lyric of all is from the final track, “It’s no fun”, when Erickson descants “all you hold is the sound of the space clouds moving around, and everyone in the crowd they act too proud and they look like melting space clowns pushing around”. He’s either a utterly insane or a complete genius, and either way, I love it! - Pop Tomorrow


Dear Ether - Message Bottle EP
Released Dec 4, 2008
Tracks played on



Dear Ether is a Portland rock/indie band. Since 2005 Dear Ether was songwriter, singer, musician Tom Erickson. At the end of 2007, after 20 yrs of various bands and cities, starts and stops and a search for a particular “something” in music, Tom sold everything he owned and moved to Portland (via Seattle and California) to focus and commit to his music full time, trying to find a foot hold in the music world. A year after moving to Portland Tom released his self recorded Dear Ether – Message Bottle EP at his first solo show.

At the start of 2009 Dear Ether became a full rock band. Tom was joined by drummer Ray Johnson (formerly of the Cutters) and musician Brendan Phillips (son of late folk man Utah Phillips) on bass. Dear Ether is often joined live by various musicians from other local band on instruments like horns, strings, percussion, keys and vocals.

Dear Ether’s sound is both instantly familiar yet different and unique, catchy with it’s quirks, fuzzy, pop friendly, slightly off kilter rock and roll landscape. By general definition Dear Ether is a rock band (indie, jangly psych pop, sonic folk, alternative) and occasionally a solo performer in the form of Tom playing his songs on acoustic guitar.

Musical influences and / or comparisons:
The Kinks, David Bowie, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pixies, Television, Beach Boys, Stooges, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Paul Simon, the Zombies, Elvis Costello, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Fugazi, Beirut, Sin Ropas, Elliot Smith, Nirvana, Daniel Johnston, Lead Belly, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie, The Velvet Underground, Wilco, Elvis Perkins, the Mamas and the Papas, Buddy Holly, TV on the Radio, Mountain Goats, Beck, Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Teenage Fanclub, the Minders, John Lennon, etc.

Short term intentions:
Continue playing solo and band shows in the Northwest and beyond, promote and sell copies Message Bottle EP, collaborate with other creative musicians and bands, connect with new fans, receive more exposure and attention as a music making entity, get air play on college radio, generate blogosphere chatter, increase show attendance, work full time to become a sustainable band, explore and pursue creative possibilities through music

Long term hopes:
National and overseas opportunities to tour and share music and ideas, release a few notable albums, have music featured in film and movie soundtracks and fight the good music fight!

*Please visit for links to performance videos, songs and the latest news