Closer By One released its self-titled, full-length album in late 2013. Building on that momentum, a follow-up EP with all new tracks by the emerging Southern California band is slated for release later this year.
Founded by independent artist and songwriter Eric Shouse, Closer By One’s 10-track debut earned grassroots funding through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Originally planned as a solo album for Shouse, the project transformed as its tracks—and the band itself—began to take shape. “I was in a period of prolific songwriting, and I discovered that I wanted to make a musical statement through an album of my own,” Shouse said. “The whole project took on a life of its own.”
With the concept for the new band in mind, Shouse turned to Ben Eggehorn, his longtime musical collaborator from their days with indie band Pushstart Wagon. Eggehorn signed on to record and produce Closer By One’s self-titled debut, and the pair channeled their creative energies into crafting an exceptional album.
Closer By One represents an artistic progression for front man Shouse, who brings his full range of vocals to bear in the album. “As a singer, I like to belt out songs,” he said. “I enjoy being able to take the choruses to a big place. The songs on this album are full of energy.” That high-powered current lends an anthem-like quality to some tracks, while solid hooks and melodies anchor the album’s journey from start to finish.
Shouse further entices listeners by subtly incorporating sonic elements of surprise into the steady alt-rock fare. “It’s a guitar-driven album, but there are electronic elements all over it,” he said. “And the song structures are breaking rules. There was nothing off-limits to us creatively.”
A no-holds-barred approach left Shouse free to explore a range of themes in his music. “This was my first chance to capture my own personal voice and musical presence as a lead singer, and that intimate attachment to the songs seems to resonate with people who hear the album or come to see us play live,” he said.
The stirring rock number You Remain True became, in essence, one of the bookends to the album, and it would eventually find its place as the final track. “The lyrics paint a picture of a battlefield filled with explosions, smoke and desperation,” Shouse said. “Even in the chaos of all that, there is a constant, unchanging love, and that’s the deeper message of the song.”
Closer By One’s lyrically dexterous front man points to this intangible awareness as the common thread on an adventurously wide-ranging debut album.
“We really enjoy the diversity of songs, but I also see that there is an emotional center to the album,” Shouse said. “The songs all represent an unwavering truth. It means something different to each person who hears it, but there is hope at the very heart of this music.”
Scores of new listeners will have the chance to define their own relationship with the music, as Closer By One takes to the streets to showcase its engaging live act. “We are just excited to get out there and play more shows,” Shouse said. “Each member of the band is an accomplished musician, and they are so fun to watch live.”
You can get Closer By One’s debut album on iTunes now.