NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans welcome Universal Republic Records artist Erin McCarley to sing the National Anthem and perform pregame at Sunday’s Titans-Bears game at LP Field.
ABOUT ERIN McCARLEY
"I knew I didn’t want to write songs that waded in the past. I wanted to write towards who I was starting to become.”
When describing her second album for Universal Republic Records, My Stadium Electric, Erin McCarley portrays an emotionally complex artist clamoring for a megaphone. From shimmering production to theatrical delivery, these twelve songs burst to life with prowess and vibrant lyrical vulnerability. McCarley has evolved immensely since her 2009 debut, Love, Save the Empty and she wants the world to know.
After spending 2010 on the road, McCarley returned to Nashville to construct the songs that would comprise My Stadium Electric. “I was undergoing a significant personal transition,” reveals McCarley. “I experienced a major loss in that I gave up on a marriage.” McCarley’s first writing attempts aimed at reconciling the feelings of loss, angst, regret, and shame that accompany divorce but yielded few results. “It was a slow process but a joy and spunk began to creep in again and I tightly held onto that feeling while writing this record. Writing and recording it was a healing process. After traveling and playing every night, I realized how I wanted to express myself.”
This process would see Erin venture all over the world from Nashville to Scotland to London to Los Angeles to New York and work with everyone from longtime producer Jamie Kenney to Ben Allen [Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley], and Martin Terefe [Jason Mraz, Train]. It’s no surprise then that a worldly influence found its way into My Stadium Electric. The album features a cornucopia of sounds ranging from Latin percussion, vintage synths, gritty guitar tones, and is influenced stylistically from 60’s Brazilian psych rock, Brit pop, classical undertones, and dance/pop.
This distinct evolution is made clear on the lead single, “Elevator” which blasts off into a new direction. McCarley imbues the song with flirty panache. The percussion bounces with tribal flare as quirky instrumentation entwines with the singer’s inimitable voice. It’s an upbeat and clever anthem about “the birds and the bees” that’s utterly infectious. "I was listening to a lot of Brazilian music at the time.” Os Mutantes were a big influence as were The Brazilian Girls. I wanted to push myself vocally to do things that I wasn't accustomed to and I wanted a tongue-in-cheek lyric approach. “Elevator” is a very sexual song. It's about being with someone who's electric and creates an excitement that runs through every part of you."
At the same time, McCarley genuinely opens up on tracks like "Re-Arrange Again" and "What I Needed ". The former is a pensive ballad carried by soulful singing and sparse piano. She wrote the song while staying in a historic bed and breakfast turned residence in Pit Lochry, Scotland. McCarley woke early one day and sat in the home's atrium where the song came to her. "Anytime you experience loss, you feel bursts of joy, but the pain always finds a way to show up again. The flowers in the garden were so beautiful and they helped me for a brief moment to forget some of my sadness. The song came from an intensely sorrowful place but eventually breathed hope and forward movement.”
Each location contributed something different to the record. While recording in Atlanta with Ben Allen, she immersed herself in vintage Russian ballerina films and rediscovered her love for dancing. “I spent a lot of time alone in Atlanta so I started taking these eclectic dance classes each night after work was finished in the studio, “says McCarley. “I actually sat there and cried in the first class as we were dancing because I hadn’t experienced that feeling in so long. I felt like I came full circle and was re-discovering my youth.”
My Stadium Electric will certainly make you dance. She adds, "I’ve come alive again. I felt like I lost a little bit of my personality for a few years and it was my fault. With this new music and personal direction, I'm more comfortable with my art and sharing it with people. I’m not taking myself too seriously.
The next phase for McCarley starts with Stadium. Ultimately, she just wants to encourage others to say what's on their minds and have a good time doing it. "There's so much to experience in life," she concludes. "A lot of us get comfortable because of fear. You've got to let the fear factor fall and let your freak flag fly. The record is an anthem for re-discovery and a nod of encouragement to me and others to get up, move, and feel ourselves come alive."