Eric Hemion

Eric Hemion

BandPopSinger/Songwriter

Eric writes and produces a wide variety of guitar, piano, and electronic based pop, alternative, and instrumental music. In addition to his own songs, which he performs solo with an acoustic guitar, Eric composes for a variety of alternative uses (i.e. other performers, TV themes, etc.)

Biography

“Enough of insisting it’s black or it’s white, when it’s green all along…”

This sentiment, expressed by Eric in song, sums up his approach to music and to life. While valuing simplicity, he avoids simple-mindedness. This approach is manifested musically in contrasts: straightforward pop hooks embedded in jazz-influenced harmonies, electronic aesthetics warmed by acoustic foundations, extroverted expressions of introverted sentiments, joy and sadness co-existing in bittersweet melancholy. Whether vocal or instrumental, autobiographical or fictional, first person or third, Eric’s songs provoke a satisfyingly complex emotional response – just like life.

Born in Manhattan and raised at the Jersey shore, Eric has been fascinated by music since childhood. He began studying piano at the age of eight, messing with guitar around age thirteen, started singing somewhere in there, and continues to dabble in a variety of other instruments. Exposed to basic music theory from a young age, he undertook a number of theoretical classes in high school, and majored in music at Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA), where he earned a BA in music in 1991.

After performing professionally for several years at clubs in central NJ as a solo act, Eric co-founded alt-pop-rock band, 7minds, a long-time fixture in the NJ/NYC scene, with whom he sang and played keyboards and was a principal songwriter. 10-plus years with the band, which released five CDs on it’s own label and performed extensively in a wide variety of venues, provided Eric not only with additional on-stage experience, but honed his skills as a writer and arranger. (The seven-piece band included a trumpet, trombone, and tenor sax, in addition to its standard rock lineup.)

With the dissolution of 7minds in early 2005, Eric has returned his attention to a solo career, writing music for other performers and media, in addition to the growing repertoire of original music that he, himself, performs. Current projects include an album of material written in central California in the spring of 2005 (release slotted for mid-2006), re-issue of a collection produced in the years immediately after college, and a future album of material written during the 7minds era.

In terms of style, listen to the music! What can be said about Eric’s writing style, however, is that, while its roots lie in the storytelling tradition of songwriting giants like Billy Joel, Cat Stevens, and Jimmy Buffett, this classic songcrafting approach is liberally peppered with the more complex harmonic influence of a classical and jazz education, a love for exploration in a variety of genres, the irreverence and increasingly avant approach of alternative or “indie” rock and the underground, an appreciation for both traditional and modern production techniques, and a faithful devotion to well-written pop music. The bottom line is that you’ll probably walk away singing to yourself, and that’s the ultimate goal…

Lyrics

Frigate Bird

Written By: Eric Hemion

Long John Silver is alive and well
I saw him on the beach today
My imagination begs to tell you
Feelings words just can’t convey

But one thing is for real:
Frigate bird

Evening sun begetting sparkling water
Pours her golden light on me
Listless girl traversing peaceful borders
Illuminated by the sea

In spite of my appeal
No more words
But one thing is for real:
Frigate bird

Points of view and photographs
Betray my impressions by presenting two dimensions of a
World of depth
A world of sound
A world of scent
A world without frames
And even though every picture recreates my own emotions
They’ll never make you feel the way I feel

Leaving traces of your heart in places
Just in case you don’t return
Mine is soaring above that quiet fortress
Ever with the frigate bird

And if I ever feel so concerned
Because my own ordeal has endured
One thing is for real:
Frigate bird

© 2005 Hemtunes

In A Word

Written By: Eric Hemion

In a word, a new emotion deep inside of me was stirred.
In a song, I found my lonely heart had been right all along.
It was that voice that taught me not to fear a single thing,
To carry laughter through the dread.
What flowed from lover’s lips that fall was rediscovered hope
For all that lay ahead.

In a word, the answer hid between the syllables I heard.
Through the air, it floated from your tongue and settled in my ear.
And like a seed beneath the snow, it waited patiently
Among the layers of gloom and doubt.
Then with the angel-tears of spring, your dormant voice began to sing
And pulled me out.

In a word, I saw the truth, and I knew life was not absurd.
In the end, it was that voice allowed my tender soul to mend.
And how a heart protects itself and saves another one,
I’ll never truly understand.
But in the healing of your own, you don’t recover all alone,
No matter what you planned…

So now you’ve heard
How you saved my precious life in just a word.

© 2005 Hemtunes

Portugal

Written By: Eric Hemion

The summer sun sinks into the sea
To leave me with my mystery
Of why a man would move two thousand miles
From where he’d really like to be

Maybe it’s better now
I’m living my life somehow
Breathing that gentle breeze
And singing in Portuguese

I don’t know how she came to be
Before my eyes so lovely to see
She locked my heart up in her treasure chest
And took it home across the sea

I didn’t care what they’d say
I followed her all the way
Buying that subtle tease
A slave to her Portuguese

And when she finally blew that cool charade
And disappeared for good
She left me with my money spent
No way to get my broken heart back home

Those years the countryside I did roam
The language I began to intone
I settled in upon this cliff above the sea
For thirty years it’s been my home

I laugh when I look back now
That life led me here somehow
Living just how I please
Totally Portuguese

© 2003 Hemtunes

Discography

Full-length album currently in production.

Set List

Currently performing 25-30 originals and many alternative covers. All-original sets are up to 1 1/2 hours; original/cover sets up to 3 hours.