For nearly a decade, Eric Reed has been recording and releasing music from El Paso, Texas as Alabama Deathwalk. His is an Americana take on emo, something that finds itself on the spectrum between The Weakerthans and Pinegrove, with a bald lyricism that recalls the likes of John Darnielle. It’s a sound that’s caught the attention of many passing through his little region of Texas, scoring him opening spots for Deer Tick, Built To Spill, Porches, and others.
But his voice is too powerful to be kept localized in El Paso for long. On his latest record, Steep Hills, Reed sets himself up for the greatest success of his career. It’s a haunted and haunting record, one that was recorded not long after he “lost three friends in the last two years,” as he sings on “Friends”. On “Dallas”, he sings about a lover who has left him, and the loneliness is heightened by the background bar noise, as if these are the thoughts of one man alone with his whiskey in the corner. The shifting, mathematical indie of “Confessions Pt. Two” begs for answers to it all, with Reed calling out for God to “just let me know we’re not alone.”
That bleakness is not the essence of the record, however. Instead, it’s a collection of songs about moving forward. “This group of songs is exactly what I wanted to get off my chest at the time,” Reed tells Consequence of Sound. “The turn of this year brought a lot of healing as I processed some tough stuff from the last few years, and a beautiful new hope/person entered my life. This record was half-written in the before, and half-written in the after. Writing and recording it helped me move forward and heal. I hope it helps others do the same, knowing they aren’t alone.”
Take a listen below.
Steep Hills will be self-released on October 21st. Alabama Deathwalk will perform a few shows in support of the effort, beginning with one tonight in Los Angeles. Find the full schedule below.
Alabama Deathwalk 2016 Tour Dates:
10/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Redwood Bar
10/20 – Oceanside, CA @ Mr. B’s Necessities
10/21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Stinkweeds
10/22 – El Paso, TX @ The Perch #
10/29 – El Paso, TX @ The Perch *
* = w/ The Appleseed Cast)
# = Album release party