Nov 22, 2011 07:10AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
Almost every minute of our modern lives is occupied by something or someone – from the demands of work, family and home, to the little moments spent on our technological toys.
Rarely do we realize how much time has escaped our grasp. These notions of time and its value in our lives are explored on the new album, aptly titled, 6 1/2 Hour Drive, from local Folsom band, Etch.
Originally formed in 1993, Scott Bottomley (vocals) and Al “Ancil” Palacio (guitar) met through an advertisement in the classifieds. It was sheer fate that they produced such a unique and inspirational sound when they paired their talents. Etch has gone through a few transitions over the years, shuffling members and shifting focus, yet the bond between Bottomley and Palacio persevered. They have reunited, bringing the eclectic sound and lively melodies they are known for, to the recently released 12-track album.
Their long history brings with it the beauty of experience. They describe themselves as “ambient pop,” yet leave the interpretation of exactly what that is up to the listener. While their first album, Without Making a Sound, was studio focused, 6 1/2 Hour Drive embodies the energy of a live performance. Palacio and Bottomley had been separated in recent years, each dealing with personal loss. Digging back into their roots, they hooked up for an “old time writing session” to see if they still had the magic; in that one meeting, the foundation for 6 1/2 Hour Drive was born.
The desire to build a solid core for Etch led them to acquire new band member, Jeff Siciliani (drums). The trio emerged refreshed and revived, with a broader, livelier and more vibrant sound. Though each musician has distinct influences, it is this diversity that emboldens their creativity. “Our music isn’t contrived,” Palacio says, “it all evolves from the vibe and feel of the moment while working together. The authenticity of it is what makes all of the diverse sounds one cohesive unit.”
Palacio shares a bit about how their recent losses enabled them to carve out a unique perspective and a renewed appreciation for the experience of life. “It’s all about time and how valuable our time is,” the self-proclaimed “steampunk” guitarist explains. The raw emotion of 6 1/2 Mile Drive is apparent. Etch paints a multitude of feelings with broad strokes, spanning the entire spectrum of human emotion. Songs like “I Feel It,” with its up-tempo beat and driving rhythm, infuse the listener with an itching need to move forward, to progress. Alternatively, the melancholy notes of “Everything’s So Clear” lament the rearview of life and times gone by. Throughout the album, Etch layers rich notes on top of enlightened thoughts, creating a multifaceted listening experience.
The end of the road is far away for ever-evolving Etch, with new videos, performances and the promotion of 6 1/2 Hour Drive in full swing.
For more information and to download their albums, visit etchmusic.com.