When we set out to create The Ark of Music, there was a short list of artists that we felt we absolutely must review—regardless of when their last album was released. The Ericksons were on that list (which included other Midwestern greats like The Pines, Charlie Parr, Patchouli, Buffalo Gospel, and others we still have our eyes on). If you love great indie music, and you’ve never heard of The Ericksons, it’s quite possible that you’re about to discover one of your future all-time favorites (thank us later ;-).
Originally from LaCrosse, WI, and currently located in Minneapolis, MN, Sisters Bethany Valentini and Jenny Kapernick have been making music for most of their lives. Inspired often by tragic circumstances, and maintained by love, the musical bond these two share is second only to blood, and that sisterhood comes across in their music.
My first experience with The Ericksons begins like a few others. It was 2012, and I went to see The Pines perform at The Root Note in LaCrosse. The Ericksons were the opening act that night. As a music lover, there’s nothing more rewarding than accidentally discovering something sacred. On that night, I did.
As the years have rolled by, the talented duo has evolved their sound, moving from what one could safely classify as folk, into a more modern folk-inspired electro-pop sound. To do so, they’ve bravely changed their live presentation to now include more electronics, synth, and even some loop-pedal work. This evolution, in my humble opinion, has been nothing short of brilliant.
Their latest release, 2014’s Bring Me Home, is, without question, their best work. A collection of songs which simultaneously summoned the culmination of both their artistic and personal lives. A rare body of work with no throw-away songs, here’s what we love most…
My Love, the album’s anthemic opening track, defines the evolution of The Erickson’s sound. Subtle electronic and synth elements blend seamlessly with guitars and the quintessential vocal harmonies native only to these sisters.
Bring Me Home, the albums title track, is a vast, expansive testament to the willingness of real love. Etheric, ambient vocals and instrumentation have but one objective…find, and deliver, love.
Our Favorite Track:
Borderline is paralyzingly beautiful and dark; a perfect reminder that often times the simplest music is the most beautiful. A few gently plucked chords, a touch of keys, and a story that rips your guts out…though you’re not sure why…
“It’s gotta start here, and it’s gotta be quick
We’ll leave in the night, swift and slick
It’s a two-man job, baby, you and me
Just watch for cops, and I will watch the street, I will watch the street
Cuz, I been waiting to get outta here
But the road is long, and the path ain’t clear
You didn’t mind, and you didn’t know
When it was rainin’ I was hopin’ for snow, I was hopin’ for snow
So take my hand, and we’ll go by foot
Over the borderline, across the snowy wood
And we’ll build a house, somewhere on a hill
Away from the wind, away from the chill…”
Baby Tell Me introduces a smooth percussive groove behind that easy-to-recognize finger-picked electric guitar that has become synonymous with an Erickson’s record. It’s a travel jam, a head-bobber, one for the road.
Like all great music, The Ericksons transcend time and genre. Their’s, I feel, is a brand of art in which any fan of any style can find solace…a place to rest. When music is inspired by the authentic pain and beauty of life—as is the case with The Erickson’s entire four-album discography—one could argue that the end result is incapable of error. Bold words? Perhaps. But true nonetheless. There is a humble quality to their music, as if even Bethany and Jenny themselves do not completely understand how raw, real, and essential it is. They live fully in the mystery, and we are all better for it.
We consider the Ericksons to be the feminine version of their fellow Minneapolis music-makers, The Pines. Or, perhaps The Pines are the masculine version of The Ericksons. Either way, as fans, we all win.
Below, you can listen to The Ericksons Bring Me Home, connect with their website and social media platforms, watch their videos, check out their live show/tour schedule, and find their contact information. Please support The Ericksons by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Listen to Bring Me Home by The Ericksons:
Read our artist interview with The Ericksons:
Connect with The Ericksons online:
Watch Minnesota Orginal’s episode about The Ericksons:
Watch The Erickson’s music video for the song My Love:
Check out The Erickson’s live show/tour schedule:
Booking & contact information for The Ericksons:
Email: theericksonsmusic (at) gmail.com