Album Premiere: Ethan Larsh – ‘The Emperor’

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania’s Ethan Larsh has released his second album, The Emperor, and you can check it out right here on New Noise.

The album combines a number of classic and contemporary influences—some parts Lennon/McCartney, others Wilco and White Stripes, even with some Flaming Lips elements thrown in the mix—combining these components and making them all his own. His band includes drummer Tim Weller and bass player Sam Silbert.

The new LP was inspired after Larsh listened to Wilco’s Summerteeth on repeat, as it was the only CD in his car during a two-week tour. He aimed to write something as powerful as “A Shot in the Arm” and began crafting his own bunch of grandiose rock tunes.

In 2017, Larsh previously released Ethan Larsh Breaks Hearts, an ode to ’70s power pop, and he has since release his EPs, Dreams (under Eve Larsh) in 2019 and Drug Ballads in 2020.

Larsh talks more about the making of The Emperor:

“I wrote the songs over a two year period. The songs are pretty eclectic.  There’s some garage stuff, R&B, psychedelia, sometimes Springsteen-like stuff. But all the songs are connected with this unifying vibe—I’m really proud of it.”

Larsh also answers some additional inquiries regarding the new LP:

What was the inspiration for this project?
I feel like it’s an eclectic record, stylistically and lyrically. There were some tunes that I sat and front of a piano by myself and crafted, while they were others that came from impromptu jams with my drummer, Tim Weller. I played them live for a long time before I recorded them—I definitely wanted the record to have the energy that the live shows did. That’s probably the universal thread through the songs—I wanted it to sound big and exciting.
What are some of the major themes?
Lyrically I tried to hit a lot of ground—using minimalist lyrics to comment on the dangers of fascism with “The Emperor” and “Everything is Beautiful When You’re Blind” while also tackling universal themes of love and love lost with “The Fire Is Gone,” “Carissa,” and “That Woman Will Destroy You.” I also like writing songs with a narrative, as in the case of “Sugarplum” and “Elvis,” but also enjoyed tackling familiar blues tropes in “Deathwish.”
Is there anything else you want to announce, like tour plans, other projects, etc? 
I’m setting up a long tour for 2022, around 200-plus dates.  I’m still putting it together, but if you follow me on Instagram at @ethanlarsh, I regularly post my shows and upcoming releases.

Listen to The Emperor in full here:

For more from Ethan Larsh, find him on Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify, and Instagram.

Photo by Ryan Faith 

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