Thriftys’ Automatic Thought is a sincere burst of sun-drenched energy, a come-clean admission of Brit-rock infatuation, and a 90’s college rock nostalgia grab from Oakland-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Chase Eiseman. Born and raised in LA, Eiseman lost both his parents to AIDS by age 4 and latched onto musical expression as a way to process and the pain and dislocation. After picking up a battered 1967 Gibson Kalamazoo bass in 5th grade, Eiseman began writing songs almost immediately. “The music always came first,” he remembers. “Even before I’d add the words, the chord changes gave me solace and euphoria all at the same time.” This album is an emphatic sign-post planted 13 years into a young musician’s far flung journey into musical and spiritual self-expression. It marks a broadening of his musical palate beyond the neo-surf rock colorations he explored as a member of Babewatch, one of the Bay Area’s most rousing and durable club bands.
The Technicolor vibe of Automatic Thought sprang from Eiseman’s need to decompress during his first year teaching special-ed elementary students at an Oakland elementary school. “Everyday was a long day. We’d have kids kicking and punching each other, screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs. Getting through to them was really tough,” Eiseman recalls. “Come four o’clock, I’d shut my bedroom door and just sit with my guitar. Then these playful, reassuring, sometimes giddy melody lines would take over. And I’d just flow with them.” Songs like “Leave Here Unknown” and “Fall Hard” recall George Harrison’s post-Beatles sonic meditations on outer-body spirituality, while tracks like “Your Room,” “Don’t Let ‘Em Bring You Down,” and “Losing Ground” could find their place in the 90s college rock canon beside Built To Spill, Yo La Tengo, and Pavement. The final track, “Parsley,” is an homage to his late grandmother, who could find beauty even in that tiny neglected green sprig that graced her Sizzler senior special chicken dinner. About Automatic Thought, Eiseman says, “The songs are about lifting yourself up in times when you struggle most. Knowing that everything is not ok, and being ok with that.”
“Thriftys is an Oakland group to watch… and it allows Eiseman to harness the full power of his ear for pop. “ -The Deli
RIYL: Kevin Morby, The Babies, Woods, Smith Westerns, Real Estate, LVL UP, Jay Som, Yo La Tengo, Snail Mail, Adult Mom
Recommended Tracks: Track 1, “Your Room,” Track 2, “Fall Hard,” Track 3, “Leave Here Unknown”
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