Sound Advice: Jeremy Enigk with Son Little and Korey Dane (June 16)

Sunny Day Real Estate’s Jeremy Enigk plays Fountain Square.

click to enlarge Jeremy Enigk - Photo: Jake Gravbrot
Photo: Jake Gravbrot
Jeremy Enigk
It’s a reasonable certainty that Jeremy Enigk doesn’t own a razor-creased pinstripe suit that gives him the appearance of a mobbed-up wise guy, and it’s just as certain that history views him as The Godfather of Emo. Enigk’s first band of note, Sunny Day Real Estate, released its genre-defining Diary in 1994, effectively transforming Post Hardcore into the histrionic Grunge offshoot known as Emo. During the band’s first of several breakups/extended vacations, Enigk released his debut solo album, 1996’s Return of the Frog Queen, an amazingly restrained Chamber Pop piece that proved his depth as a songwriter and performer.

Enigk’s shift to a more reflective musical stance was attributed to his conversion to Christianity, which was rumored to have caused the original Sunny Day Real Estate rift, although it was later identified as negligible in the face of greater intra-band tensions. When Sunny Day Real Estate reconvened, the band sounded more like Enigk’s solo persona; in fact, songs slated for Enigk’s sophomore set wound up being diverted to Sunny Day Real Estate’s comeback album, 1998’s How It Feels to Be Something On

After 2000’s The Rising Tide, the band’s label went under and Sunny Day Real Estate called it quits again. The following year, Enigk and former band members Nathan Mendel and William Goldsmith, who’d both joined Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters, formed The Fire Theft, recording the band’s first and only album in 2003.

Enigk finally got around to his sophomore solo album, 2006’s orchestrated Indie Rock set World Waits, which he supported with a full-scale tour. 

In 2007, Enigk released The Missing Link, which featured four new songs and five re-recorded tracks that appeared on World Waits. Sunny Day Real Estate reunited in 2009 for a tour just as the band’s first two Sub Pop albums were remastered and reissued with bonus material. Although there was talk of a new Sunny Day Real Estate album, only one track, “Lipton Witch,” surfaced as one side of a 2014 split single with Circa Survive for Record Store Day. Around the time of the last Sunny Day Real Estate activity, Enigk returned to a grittier Rock mode with his third solo album OK Bear.

In 2015, Enigk began a PledgeMusic campaign to fund a new solo album; the goal was exceeded in a matter of weeks. For the past two years, Enigk has been recording and soundchecking/testing new songs on short tours. His current road stint is a solo acoustic venture with lots of new material promised (the Cincinnati performance is free). Enigk hosted a studio listening party back in January, the album has been mixed and mastered and artwork is being finalized. If this feels like an inordinate amount of time, consider that he is operating without a label or management, and be happy that he’s out supporting an imminent new album. 

Enigk's Cincinnati show is a freebie on Fountain Square. Click here for more info.

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