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Posted June 1, 2016 by Mike Mineo in Tracks
 
 

Eli & The Itches – “Haunt Me”

eli and the itches

Based out of Venice Beach, Eli Pearl’s early musical tastes were molded around portions of punk, soul, and glam-rock, leading to a distinctive musical direction that earned him regular spots in LA clubs like the Key Club, the Roxy, and the Whiskey A Go Go at age 13. These days, he’s making devastatingly great tracks like “Haunt Me”, which reminds of The Walkmen’s rock and punk-laden infusion, as well as Hamilton Leithauser’s distinctive croon. Comparisons aside, “Haunt Me” is an original success that transitions brilliantly from strained nonchalance to an emotionally haunting hook, evident at the bridge starting at 00:46 and carried into the subsequent chorus. The twangy and resonating guitars provide a constant solid backbone to Pearl’s vocals throughout, helping making “Haunt Me” an exhilarating success.

Here are Eli’s own words about the track:

“Haunt Me” came together in a completely different way than “What A Funny Feeling”. What you hear on the record is actually the original demo of me playing everything, recorded in a bedroom. We ran everything through Jason Hiller’s equipment to beef it up, Producer Luther Russell (Weezer, Those Pretty Wrongs) added a vital tambourine, and I recut the vocal. Lyrically, this song couldn’t be further from autobiographical. It’s sung from the perspective of a man is convinced he’s in an s&m relationship with the ghost of a victorian woman. He feels like he’s falling for her but is also aware that due to the complicated nature of their relationship, it will never be more than what it currently is. It’s left open ended as to whether this is really happening or if the guy is just off his rocker and handcuffing himself to his bed every night.

It was an early foray into messing with drum machines, I tried to play a couple of different types of riffs over a drum loop but it just sounded forced. Then I thought, what if approached the guitar part from completely different angle. I tuned my guitar to what you would usually here on say a Rolling stones, White Stripes, or old delta blues record, and it ended up doing the trick. Everyone thinks that seasick sound that song opens with is a guitar, but it’s actually one of those little Casio keyboards for kids going through my guitar pedals. What you hear on the record is actually the original demo of me playing everything, recorded in a bedroom. We ran everything through Jason’s equipment to beef it up, Luther added a vital tambourine, and I recut the vocal.

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Mike Mineo

 
I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].