Eric Terino - 'Innovations of Grave Perversity'




The album opens with 'Felt' - a song conveying the heartbreaking feeling of getting through painful loneliness. The poetic depth of words accompanied by Eric Terino's pleasing softly-raspy vocals creates an atmosphere that rains heavy emotion. The composition has a constantly evolving energy that revolves around the sentimental core of the song. One can experience the freedom given to the strings and harp with their spacious and detailed notations creating wonderful patterns that imprints this song in your soul. 'Felt' is the light that guides the listeners through the gates of this album. Next up is 'Torture the Dead'.

This is a track with smooth, sustained piano whose sound slowly joins the rest of the instruments and vocals. With this song, the ambience becomes more involved with the music enclosing an emotional depth. The thoughtfulness of words along with the raw and mystical flow of this song creates a warm and intense aura. It conveys all the shades of love, and its power to manipulate life and beyond and having both a bright and dark side that directly or indirectly controls our lives. The absence of a firm rhythmic pattern allows the tune to freely perform the articulations that serve the meaning of this song.

The third track on the album is 'A Snowfall at Dusk', which brings out the soothing chord progressions with mind-melting sounds. The plucking of exquisite harp accompanying vocals, mellow whispering pads in the background and a brief performance of flute does much more to interpret a literal 'snowfall at dusk'. The art shines through the rendition carried out by the music. Every frequency in its place covering contour, range, and scale is used in such a way that it illuminates the essence of the music. Such an approach with rich lyricism supported by minimal instrumentation requires a pre-imagination of how the song is going to turn out; like a puzzle being solved.We can definitely see that the captivating enigma is solved through this slumberous composition. Moving along into 'Invocations'; this track blends the dynamics of previous songs with unique characteristics of the theme. Its broad major chord immediately catches your attention and sets the base for the meaning of the song. The elegance of vibratos immortalized by strings have more presence alongside the gentleness of the piano. A gush of emotions dripping from every element creates a harmonious flow of expressions and sentiments. The warm, sonorous and transcendental melody and lyrics are recalling memories of a lost love and hollowness of their absence.

The fifth track on the album, 'Boulder' is different. Brass and deep bass strings make it their way to illustrate a consistent melancholic aspect through their arrangement. Most of the structure of this song is built on vocals that drive the heartfelt tune. This song truly compels the isolated thoughts and feelings regarding self. Eric's creative approach creates beauty through simplicity in this composition. The artistic and musical transformation at this point in the album can be clearly felt. 'An Augury of Hope' is the next track on the album, and is a look back over life and some troubled times in the past, but having learned a lot from life, look forward to a healed, brighter future. In spite of having all the same instruments, this keeps giving combinations never heard in previous songs. The rhythm has a strong hold guided by plucks and string patterns. Everything feels higher in range and pitch including vocals which does justice to this song of hope.

The influence of heavy vibratos and peaceful nature makes this piece remarkable. Our penultimate track is 'Body Gets Stoned'; a concept of society's ability to sew doubt and destruction, but a warning not to let their words and values find a home in yourself. A tuneful acoustic guitar makes its way into this song, also setting a rhythmic pattern that is strummed. It keeps the temperate and relaxing flow while adding a space for Jolie Holland's vocals which accompanies Eric with resonant harmonies. The direction in which this album is heading also reveals the artist's personal point of view on life and love and making it a legacy through this album. Last but by no means least is 'I Didn't Live There', the last track of the album. This song mulls over shards of memories past, of good times gone, and of revelatory travels. An epic end with its calm and delicate form, a final reminder of how splendid the musicians and vocalist are with their art, that they can plant the seed of emotion and water it well with their music and lyrics.



Eric Terino
Innovations of Grave Perversity is Eric Terino’s third long player, and by any measure is his most expansive and layered work. Taking charge from where his sophomore record left off, the album is a parallel journey through the passage of seasons (winter into spring) and the transition from despondency to the birth of new hope and healing. It is a record about attempting to find light in the wake of trauma and working to reframe one’s life in a way that allows for the possibility of joy.

Written and recorded throughout 2020/2021 amidst the height of a global pandemic, the eight tracks that comprise Terino’s third LP started life in his home studio in a New England forest and came to fruition with contributions from musicians based all throughout the world. Cello tracks flown in from Russia, French horns from Italy, harps from the UK, and even a musical saw from Greece. Notably featured on a number of tracks is the distinctive voice and hauntingly beautiful violin of legendary Americana singer/songwriter Jolie Holland. It was as a result of the lockdowns that many new connections were able to be forged remotely and Terino’s experience of making this record became a tool to feel connected to other musicians and artists in a time when such camaraderie was greatly needed.

Lead single “Body Gets Stoned” was written by Terino nearly 15 years ago and features stirring violin and vocals from Jolie Holland, whose contribution allowed for the track to finally feel complete and ready to be properly documented. “‘Body Gets Stoned’ is sort of my take on a ‘Que Sera Sera’ (Doris Day’s 1956 hit from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’). Basically, it’s a Buddhist kind of mentality that all is as it is and will be as it will be. So there’s no point in fighting upstream.  Ultimately the solution to any struggle is in letting the river take us where we need to go, which in my opinion… is home.”

Elsewhere, the record explores a wide range of themes such as mental illness, aging, leaving past loves behind, accepting childlessness, and renouncing damnation. All driven by an emotive intimate vocal and delicate near orchestral arrangements. Whether the subject matter is bereavement (“Invocations”), agoraphobia (“Boulder”), or the experience of coming out as an LGBTQ youth (“A Snowfall at Dusk”), the songs that comprise Innovations of Grave Perversity transform the deeply personal into universal statements on the complexities of human life.

“I feel more hopeful and open than I’ve ever felt before. There’s something nearly magical that can happen when you’re writing. You have to be careful because what you write could manifest itself into reality. So with this record, this was my attempt to shift the narrative of my life from a tragedy to a realm of potential for joy."

About Eric Terino

Eric Terino
Tapping into the rich timeless history of romance and poetics past, Eric Terino’s musical landscape paints a portrait of an American artist with a sweeping perspective on what it means to be human. The deeply personal becomes universal and heartbreak can be transformed to healing. Similar in fashion to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, his tales of suffering mend with beauty. Gilding the places we have been hurt as a means of moving forward. This potential for alchemy exists everywhere, and Terino’s serenaded solitude reminds us of the infinite beauty in it all.