Love Heist
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Love Heist

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"Deftly arranged and smartly paced"

Deftly arranged and smartly paced, "Surefooted" packs a goodly number of instruments into a brisk three and a half minutes, but the sound remains clean and uncluttered. There's piano and guitar and drums, there's a string quartet, a trombone, an interesting keyboard or two, maybe a woodwind of one sort or another--"orchestral folk" is what Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Geoff Ereth calls it. But unlike much of what comes under the "chamber pop" umbrella, "Surefooted" leaves enough white space in and around its arrangement to feel fresh and easy rather than baroque and belabored.
The key, I think, is the strength of the song itself. I love instrumental variety in rock'n'roll as much as anyone, but too often the aural curlicues are covering up melodic staleness--underneath the ornamentation, there's no there there, to use that old Gertrude Stein nugget. With "Surefooted," there's plenty of there, as both the verse and chorus feature strong melodies, put forward with gentle assurance by the smooth-voiced Ereth (and note the arresting way he offers harmonies on the middle lines of each verse but not the first and last). Symbolic, perhaps, of the song's full but unadorned feel is the instrumental break at around 2:10--rather than any orchestral swell, we are stripped down to just the strings, playing with punch and punctuation (and pizzicato), which creates room for an uncomplicated but evocative piano line that wanders briefly through at 2:20. (The string quartet that plays with Ereth on his record is Osso, which is the same group that has performed with both Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond.) - Fingerprints

"lo-fi blend soft vocals and phenomenally heartfelt symphonic instrumentals"

Geoff Ereth’s particular singer/song-writer talents have produced a lo-fi blend soft vocals and phenomenally heartfelt symphonic instrumentals. I’m sure there are hundreds of artists and songs that have been compared to Jeff Buckley, Coldplay and Sufjan Stevens and although this almost seems to be throwaway gesture it is definitely a relevant one for Geoff Ereth, as the similarities are rather striking. Especially when we consider that the string quartet that plays with Ereth on is record is Osso, which is the same group that has performed with both Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond.

The song that really grabs me is ‘Whitsunday,’ with its uplifting strings arrangement and lightly sung melody the beauty of the song slowly sinks in, as the layered vocals lull you into a feeling of calmness. ‘Surefooted’ is another album highlight, the strength of which lies in its instrumental variety. Too often in songs instrumental diversity seems to result in a cacophonous array of notes that cover up a certain melodic staleness, but Geoff Ereth has managed to avoid sounding overly cluttered and certainly creates strong melodies. The full but unadorned feel of ‘Surefooted’ comes largely from the instrumental break, which rather than swell into an orchestral crescendo is stripped down to just the strings, playing with punch and punctuation, which creates room for the uncomplicated but evocative piano line that briefly wanders through the track. Just as in ‘Carry Me’ Geoff Ereth creates a wonderfully sonic atmosphere offering subtle touches of piano, strings, keyboards and woodwinds throughout the song that accent the melody without ever over-powering it.

However, as beautiful and earthy his vocals, lyrics and melody are, sometimes I can’t help but feel it is lacking a certain sincerity. Or perhaps it lacks a certain energy as unless you dedicate your heart, mind and ears whole-heartedly to listening to the entire album as an experience, one song seems to drift into another. In songs such as ‘Finely Dressed Saboteurs’ Ereth’s vocals become a bit too Will Young-esque; lacking any grit or rawness everything becomes a bit too cheesy and far too overly polished. - TLOBF


Geoff Ereth is a Brooklyn folk artist who’s just getting off his feet (or is the expression on his feet?). I got turned on to Mr. Ereth when he sent me an email with some tracks off his debut album, Drunk With Translation. My interest was caught when I read that he recorded the album with “osso”, the string quartet that also records with Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond. Geoff’s orchestral folk definitely fits in nicely with those preceding artists. His sound is a bit more organic and earth-toned though, kind of reminding me of Midlake or Ola Podrida (maybe it’s just their mutual love of using deers in their album art).

The song that really grabbed me was “Surefooted”, a well-constructed baroque pop song with some truly beautiful instrumentation. Geoff Ereth is able to create a wonderful sonic atmosphere on the orchestral side, offering subtle touches of piano, strings, keyboards, and woodwinds throughout the song that accent the melody without ever overpowing it. It makes the punchy strings and piano combo of the bridge much more significant. He continues to impress with his songwriting throughout the album with “Finely Dressed Saboteurs” and “Whitsunday” both of which feature memorable strings arrangements and lightly sung melodies that allow themself to slowly sink in. If you love those Asthmatic Kitty artists or just have a thing for impeccable string arrangements, make sure to give this guy a listen. - Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good

"This is no manufactured X Factoresque sound"

Geoff Ereth is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Brooklyn who looks a little like a rough around the edges Will Young but that's where the similarities end.

This is no manufactured X Factoresque sound. Geoff' just finished recording his debut album, 'Drunk With Translation', which is no less than bona fide, genuine, heartfelt symphonic folk that mines a similar seam to Sufjan Stevens and Final Fantasy.

At a time when the music industry is overflowing with lowest common denominator chancers looking for the easy option the future of music as an artform is in the hands of ambitious artists like Geoff Ereth who are prepared to take the road less travelled. - Devil Has the Best Tuna

"an 18th century idyllic setting"

Imagine tranquility for a minute. Not the phony kind you get with a relaxation tape or the heavy numbing feeling after a large meal.

Picture it: you're a farmer returning from your daily labor in the fields, an 18th century idyllic setting sun still lingering over the long boulevard of trees and your home looms just over there, below a huge silvery moon. Soon the stars are coming out and the crickets welcome you with song. You've come home.

As you approach the gravel path leading slightly up the hill to your door, your iPod (for no 18th century is complete without some sort of damnable contraption) soothly plays your favorite play list and comes to Geoff Ereth. He hasn't been born yet, or maybe you went to his Brooklyn concert just the other day; it doesn't matter. He sings your way home. - Laughing Evergreens


Drunk With Translation - 2009



Love Heist is from Brooklyn. They make smartly paced indie piano rock