Eloise Alterman’s EP, ‘Sad Bird’ is a Carousel of Heart-Wrenching Artlessness.
At age 17, singer/songwriter Eloise Alterman moved to the Music City of Nashville, TN to hone her musical craft as a self-taught guitarist/pianist with an incredible voice to boot. While growing up in Detroit, MI, Alterman began playing either the piano or guitar at a very young age throughout her middle school and high school years. Not knowing anyone in Nashville gave her the opportunity to keep to herself and write songs on a daily basis before releasing her debut EP The Other Side on Big Yellow Dog Music.
After years of hard work and prior considerations of moving back to Detroit, Alterman had built a solid catalogue of songs that sparked Big Yellow Dog Music’s Carla Wallace to bring her to Atlantic Records, which also led to a contract with ATCO Records — a reactivation of Atlantic Records fame — as well as Full Stop Management (John Mayer, Meghan Trainor).
Her brand-new release, courtesy of the aforementioned labels, titled Sad Bird is a collection of subtly refined tracks that sparked the interest of Wallace and resulted in the signing of the artist. The EP is replete with up-close-and-personal tracks about falling in and out of love, healing and self-discovery, bringing Alterman out of her comfort zone and into the vulnerable side of her musical spectrum. The poignant single “Her” only arose after several bouts of compunction to include all the subject matter in the song.
“I’d finished writing all the songs for the EP, but there was still one thing I hadn’t addressed — the other woman,” recalls Alterman. “I really didn’t think I would ever be able to write that song, but then I finally was able to be real with myself and admit what I’d been avoiding.”
The outcome is a well-written, honest track that’s lyrics convey the pain of knowing that the person you love is enamored with someone else. The captivating video for the song was produced by multiple Grammy Award-winning Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson, The Highwoman). The remainder of the Sad Bird follows suit along with its single, portraying an array of songs — as John Cusack in High Fidelity would place it — “about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss.”
Not only will the six-track EP tug directly at your heartstrings, it will leave you feeling slightly refreshed by the clarity of Alterman’s emotional exploration and transmission of her soulful core.
Sad Bird is, by all accounts, a glimpse of maturation from Alterman’s first release, which seems to infuse every element of pop, country, indie and folk music into a rhythmic collection of songs with the evocative lyricism of self-searching and self-exploration. Alterman’s early influences like Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell are apparent throughout the effort, and other tracks such as “Carousel” sound akin to Frou Frou and ‘Seasons” to that of Lady Antebellum.
“Before I made this EP, I saw my sensitivity as a negative thing — I felt like it meant I was weak, but now I feel so strong,” says Alterman. “I still struggle with some of the things I wrote about, but it makes me feel good to know that people might take my songs and apply them to their own lives.”