JD Eicher prepares a more personal album



JD Eicher’s next album will take a more personal turn.

Titled “The Middle Distance,” the introspective collection will be released May 6, with a Youngstown record-release party set for May 5 at Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., downtown.

Eicher, a Pittsburgh-based rocker and Canfield native, said his creative process changed a bit as he wrote songs for the new album.

“It’s more of a journal entry/diary-type approach this time around,” he said. “The music that I’m writing and releasing is really mirroring who I am and where I am at this time in my life. It’s easy to perform songs when they’re very true. I’m really glad that my career has taken the longer, ‘scenic’ route, because the music I’m writing now has a certain truth to it that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”

The coming release will be the first since his album trilogy: “The Shape of Things,” “Shifting” and “Into Place.”

“The first records were tied together,” said Eicher. “I had things to say and I did that through storytelling. You are always in the songs that you write but this time, I intentionally got away from that and just wrote about the things that I need to write about. It took an introspective turn. I’m just being honest to where I am right now.”

The new album, he pointed out, is not as upbeat as the previous three, which were kept buoyant by an underlying theme of hope.

“It deals with a lot of questions that are still unanswered for me, and the whole human condition struggle is present in these songs,” said Eicher. “But it’s not negative or dark.”

Another subtle change reflected on the new record is that the band no longer goes by JD Eicher and the Goodnights. Now it’s just JD Eicher, which underscores the personal nature of the new music and also the fact that the singer-songwriter performs both with his band and as a solo act.

The band, however, is still very much a part of the act.

“It’s still the same band,” he said. “But after the trilogy, it felt right to simplify. The new music is personal, so I shifted in this direction for marketing purposes. Sometimes when I’d play a solo show, I would get mismarketed as ‘JD Eicher and the Goodnights’ and people would expect the full band to be there. They’ll still regularly play with me, including at a string of shows this summer, and also at the Soap Gallery show.”

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