Erie Choir
Gig Seeker Pro

Erie Choir


Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Fine Carriers of the North Carolina Indie Rock Torch"

3x4... three songs each from four different Pox World Empire bands (that's twelve in total, mathies): Schooner, The Sames, Erie Choir, and Summer Set. And fortunately for us, they're all fine carriers of the North Carolina indie rock torch. Add to that individually silkscreened covers, and you've got a winner here.
Schooner is the band I'm familiar with, so we'll start with them. A quartet from Raleigh, these guys play a sort of dark, lulling pop that is surprisingly enticing. These guys were runner up for the Indieville best-of list a couple of years ago, so you know they've got the stuff. Their three tracks here don't stray much from the formula, though "Birds and Other Creatures" stretches into folky territory a little - and with good results.

The Sames have considerably more urgency in their sound, but retain the darkness shown with Schooner's work. The outcome? Infectious, moody pop that stays with you. Their last song, "Seagrove" is slower and a bit more lush, with an uplifting chorus that reminds me of Mercury Rev in the vocals.

Erie Choir I'm strangely endeared to, playing guitar-based folky pop music with a really pleasant sound. The slight Spanish element to "My First Ocean" is a nice inclusion, though the drum machines of "Impolite" are a bit cheesy. Overall, though, I'm really pleased with what they've come up with here.

Summer Set from Wilmington are the last in each four song rotation here (occupying tracks 4, 8, and 12), and they contribute laidback, polished pop music that's tastefully subtle and quite warm. I'd like to see what else they've come up with.

Overall, 3x4 is a very successful release. Giving you more to go by than a one-track-per-artist sampler, this lets you get a real taste of what each of these bands has to offer. In this case, that's a very good thing.


"Music: Homebrew"

Echoing a '70s singer/songwriter rock style, Eric Roehrig's bright acoustic strum, gentle tenor croon and spare, airy arrangements meld the confessional style with a touch of '80s new wave and jangle. The former Sorry About Dresden frontman fashioned some pretty bittersweet numbers, but this isn't as much the tortured croak of a Saddle Creek singer as it is a mellifluous exercise in gentle pop. "Lullaby for Jon Grives" has the woozy feel of Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes," and the haunting, synth-driven "Coats in the Closet" finds Roehrig's vocals channeling Elvis Costello's vocal style. It's nice stuff, but a bit slight, were it not for the two stand-out tracks, "When It's Done" and "Favorite Fotos." The former is a ringing, folky ode to resilience, while the latter is an almost James Taylor-ish soft rock number that boasts the best lyrics on the five-song EP. Tracing the conceit of a photo album as a kind of life ledger, Roehrig taunts, "you keep two sets of books ... and you want me to play along, pretend this lie is a life you own, you fooled yourself, you lie too well ... all your favorite pictures are posed and overexposed." - The Independent Weekly

"Schooner/The Sames/Erie Choir/Summer Set, 3x4"

It's rare to find an album that's split among four bands yet presents one overall mood so well as 3x4 does. Featuring three songs apiece by the North Carolina bands Schooner, The Sames, Erie Choir, and Summer Set, 3x4 has the atmosphere of a sunny, quiet day, like mellow time spent out in the country to clear your head and help you figure out where your life's going.

"As an Indian sun burns up the past / these ghosts become old hat". Schooner begins the album with the lovely "Indian Sunburn," with soft guitars and organ tones supporting a repeating melody, sung in a hushed but direct voice by singer Reid Johnson. The song circle backs around; when it's on I feel like it could go on forever and I wouldn't care. I get a similar effect from Schooner's more rollicking pop-rock song "Birds and Other Creatures", a looking-back song with nature imagery and rising and falling harmonies which ends on a vaguely lovelorn and bittersweet note: "Have you waited all along for me / well you're free," Johnson sings, accentuating his words with hammering guitars.

There's a pretty-but-melancholy tone too to all three songs by Erie Choir, even when the singer's opening up his bruised heart, as on the folk-pop song "Impolite." There's a certain kind of tropical feeling to that song, and to their "My First Ocean," which nods towards both '50s pop slow-dances and the music of beach bums (and Elvis Costello, for that matter) with its 'blue moon' mood. That holiday feeling balances nicely with the direct, grounded-in-hurt tone that Erie Choir often takes.

The Sames are a more high-voltage band, their energetic rock often hearkening back to '90s 'alternative'. Here they manage to conjure up a similar tone as the other bands, without adjusting their basic style all that much. "I Hear Angels Coming" and "Coney Island of the South" are loud and raucous; yet the former's afterlife theme and the latter's nighttime scene fit right in. And their third song, "Seagrove," exists in a dreamlike state, slowly unfolding as the lyrics draw small sketches of scenes from a life, real or dreamed.

3x4 closes with "Crackhead in My Car," a glowing sunset of a song from Summer Set. It's overtly impressionistic, with as light-as-air lead vocals and a lost-in-a-daze tone. The other Summer Set songs offer a similar aura, like you're tripping across the sky, though "Lost to the Frost"'s vocals and lyrics are more earthbound, an expression of the ambiguity and confusion of relationships. That song, like every song on 3x4 has sensitivity but also force, plus a uniquely evocative mood.

- Erasing Clouds

"Pox World Empire showcases talent"

Anyone reading this is probably at least a part-time North Carolina resident, a student or a music fan. That said, buy Compulation Volume Two: Songs From North Carolina.

The album is a compilation of North Carolina indie-rock bands, many of which hail from the Triangle or close to it. Even the record label responsible for the production of the compilation, Durham's Pox World Empire, is local.


Like the punk compilations of the '80s, Compulation is a state-of-the-scene address, showcasing area talents in one easy-to-find LP. One might even call it "Mega Hits of N.C."

The album is a veritable smorgasbord of neighborly indie-rock goodness. It's like a rock 'n' roll block party.

Each track is different, but they all can be nestled comfortably under the "indie-rock" umbrella.

Work Clothes kicks off the album with their New Pornographers-style indie pop track "Mosaic." They're followed by the disco synth-pop of Art Lord & The Self-Portraits' "Sad Apples, Dance!"

Bellafea offers a standout track with "No Reply," a punk rock ditty that sounds like the riot-grrrl of Bikini Kill with the pop sensibilities of Le Tigre - Kathleen Hanna would be proud.

It also features a wicked disco-punk bridge that sounds like a Sid-Vicious-meets-ABBA primetime special.

"Sunset," by Summer Set, is another standout because of its easygoing Weezer and Beach Boys sensibilities.

Evil Wiener also gives an exemplary performance with its funny and irreverent "VisArt Song," an ode to the forgotten glory of video rentals. It boasts the quirky humor of The Dead Milkmen or Mojo Nixon and the musical sense of Ben Folds Five.

Erie Choir's "Everybody Knows" begins a string of excellent tracks with its sweet indie goodness. Soft acoustics and understated vocals bring to mind Neutral Milk Hotel. Spader continues the streak with "An Asshole In The Desert," a mid-tempo disco-punk track with the compilation's grooviest bass line by far.

Finks then take the reins with "Caveman," a New York Dolls-esque track with vocal harmonies that would make Richard Hell proud. This is music sure to make the Local 506 feel like the famed punk hangout CBGB, circa 1977.

Compulation's final track, "Left Behind," is a theatrical and unquestionably weird rock tune from The Torch Marauder, a gang of blue-faced caped crusaders from Durham. It may be an acquired taste, but it's a local delicacy and it gives an eccentric ending to the compilation.

Overall, most of the songs are standouts with a few exceptions. The biggest problem with Compulation is that it feels like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive album. Tracks jump from upbeat dance-punk to acoustic ballads and back again uncomfortably.

But it's a perfect opportunity to support good local music, and the variation of the 22 tracks is sure to include something for everyone.

- The Daily Tar Heel

"Very worthwhile showcase for North Carolina label"

Simple idea, 4 bands, 3 songs each, set them off running, see what happens. Schooner offers 3 different sounding songs ranging from the desert fried country of ‘Birds and Other Creatures’ (think Summer Hymns). A gentler effort but with the same shards of feeling imbue the wheezing summer afternoon out of control asthma attack organ sounds of ‘Indian Summer’ with a feeling close to grace. ‘Hollows and Wet Snow’ is lovely, a fully realised pop song somewhere near Centro-matic in the accidental beauty stakes. I’d like to hear more from this band.

The Sames offer something different. Starting with some discordant string bending and morphing into a gentle slab of power pop complete with excellent string work sounding like rain might on taut pylon strung cables, the sort of thing that would be excruciating in the hands of Embrace but sounds great here. They continue the search for the perfect chord on their other efforts, they have a good feel for dynamics, they know when to hold back and when to let go without say the slavish Interpol worship of the Editors. For ‘Seagrove’ they relax into Creeper Lagoon or Mercury Rev territory, the guitars a series of effervescent eddies across the surface of the song.

Erie Choir mix electronica with the traditional, ‘Impolite’ is all machine beats, guitar, harmonica and some pipe smoking vocals. ‘My First Ocean’ is more strident, a bit like having a mariachi orchestra play love songs at your table when you’re trying to break up with someone, whereas ‘Hey Little Thing’ is more guacamole, avocado acoustics with a scintilla of chilli in the harmonica.

Summer Set offer more electronica - ‘Crackhead in My Car’ burbles before layers of guitars stake claim, plangent lead in front with sturdy rhythm to provide a base for the vocal to break through. A different set up ushers in ‘Lost to the Frost’ simple acoustic strums before strings get bent, skins thumped and the song glides on. Circular strums also surround ‘New Years’ with hushed vocals, closely coupled droplets of keyboards cling dew like to the song, electric guitar chimes, tambourine shakes, electronics drag, a lovely construction, a waltz for an afternoon hour.
- AmericanaUK

""Slighter Awake""

Eric Roehrig keeps hanging around. Sorry About Dresden, the effusive rock band to which he belonged, slowed down (they're back again, playing gigs this month), but in a pogo pop break, he's been writing introspective songs that often remained in a shell, quiet minor-key passages suffering in skeletal form.

Those songs were released on EPs and comps, but they never had a chance to coalesce. Five years later, he's finally made Slighter Awake, a fully realized pop record, one speckled with faces from the local music community. And that's what makes this record sparkle when it could have simply been backlit. It's like a choir announcing their support of a songwriter they believe in, if you will, and they paint his snapshots of imagery with color and texture. Not coincidentally, Roehrig's fond of photo references.

On one of two previously released cuts also found here, "Favorite Foto," a dry, Dorian Gray-ish reflection on misrepresented happiness, Audubon Park's David Nahm adds a percolating melodica. On the ensemble's true centerpiece, "Central Services," Abby Magowan brightens everything with piano. Cello, violin and Wurlitzer tease a rich, slow-build pop till it nearly bursts. That said, there's little "indie" about this record, if that term reminds you of murky instrumentation or melancholy for its own sake. This is structured, deliberate, glowing rock. In fact, few indie rock songs get punched in the brain's pleasure zone like the ingenious "Picture=Proof," the shining single here. Hit repeat and enjoy. —Chris Toenes
- Independent Weekly

"Erie Choir"

Formative influences for Erie Choir seem to include Ric Ocasek, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello, but that's true of almost any young pop band making music right now. Eric Roehrig's Erie Choir is different, though, for its casual, alluring presentation, playing tightly wound pop songs like it's as natural and easy as breathing. 7 p.m. --GC
- The Indepedent Weekly

"CONCERTREVIEW Local 506 Wednesday, Jan. 17 3.5 stars"

The Durham act Erie Choir, built around the songs of Eric Roehrig, performed songs from its debut album, Slighter Awake, which was released on the local Sit-N-Spin label.

The band's sound is easy to compare to '60s pop rock with a bit of a Byrds jangle, but also recalls the indie-rock sounds of Ben Folds at times.

With a laid-back feel to the performance, Erie Choir let the songs speak for themselves, and especially on the sparser, more heartfelt tunes, the band couldn't have spoken any stronger than the music did.
- The Daily Tar Heel

"Sorry About Dresden front man has nothing to apologise for on this compelling set"

Last year Erie Choir appeared alongside 3 other bands on a decent compilation on Pox World Empire records and now after 5 years in the making they present their first full length. The result is classic songwriting filtered through an indie-rock attitude with the songs tightly constructed, each element thoughtfully placed but without any of the attendant pretension that often mars this kind of endeavour. Key word is craft, the songs ingrained with care and attention.

Snaky guitar lines, regiments of piano notes held together with sinewy rhythms form the bass, sometimes reaching further, hitting the heights. ‘Trunion Pike’ understated in the beginning, embellished with cello and piano dancing around each other whilst the others watch on, then vocal and guitar refreshed and revived are joined by a choral eruption of melody; quite lovely. Eric Roehrig is the auteur at work with ‘Lullaby for Jon Grieves’ - he uses a jaunty pop template adding vivacious violins, while ‘10CC’ belies its origins in consummate polished songwriting, the chorus simple and affecting without being manipulative.

Roehrig has a good habit of linking pairs of songs, thematically or musically; ‘Central Services’ and the excellent ‘Woken Up Broken Up’ share lyrical concerns, and where the former is full of urban sophistication with complex arrangements, the latter opts for rustic bar room piano, banjo and lap steel giving a squinting at the sun morning after feel where the moments of coalescence are open-aired waltzes, slow-moving rivers and curls of barbecue smoke.

As adept as Roehrig is at arranging, he is just as effective when the instrumentation is stripped down: ‘Favourite Foto’ and ‘How It’s Done’ use a three piece line-up showcasing the songwriting and the warm performances. This is a terrific set of songs.

Date review added: Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Reviewer: David Cowling
Reviewers Rating:
Related web link: Join the choir
- Americana-UK


2002-NE VS NC (RED 030)
2004 s/t EP (Self-Released)
2004 Bad Tsars is a Drag (Self-Released)
2005-Various Artists :: Compulation Volume Two (POX CD-16)
2005-Various Artists: Rocking the Blocks (DDI001))
2006- 3x4 (Three by Four) (Pox CD-17)
2007- "Sligher Awake" (Sit N Spin Records)



"Slighter Awake", is to be released on January 16th, 2007 on Sit-N-Spin Records. It features the songs of Eric Roehrig, one of the voices behind Sorry About Dresden (Saddle Creek Records). Following in the wake of the success of a self-released EP and the four artist split "3x4" (Pox World Empire), "Slighter Awake" is the North Carolina group's years-in-the- making debut. The release of Durham-based Erie Choir's first full-length has generated a lot of excitement both locally and from points far and wide. But don't be scared off by the hype. "Slighter Awake" is a considerable achievement. Subtly ambitious, it draws on a diverse list of musical touchstones, fusing the bright familiarity of classic rock with the grit of Americana, the dreamy aspects of psychedelic folk with pop sensibilities derived from New Wave, all tied together in a surprisingly intelligent, intimate and affecting package. Erie Choir have played some shows over the years with folks like Edith Frost, Robyn Hitchcock, Smog, Azure Ray, The New Year, Mayday and The Good Life. Features members of Sorry About Dresden, Spacelab, The Nein.