Ethan Gold is a multi-talented music maestro in a class all his own. The singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist thinks music found him just as much as he found it. Son of renowned novelist Herbert Gold, Ethan thinks his father’s success lowered resistance from his family as far as his creative endeavors went due to it not being a foreign idea. Growing up, Gold was drawn to the sonic exploration of artists like Brian Eno and loves the intimacy of artists such as Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, and other musicians who mix meaningful songwriting with musical integrity and creative arrangements. While being a fan of such prolific singer-songwriters, Ethan struggled when it came to lyrics. “It took me years to get comfortable with lyrics. I was always more comfortable in the musical realm and the lyrics were an afterthought that I didn’t really enjoy, but in the last few years, I find I write a lot quicker. A song is usually done in an hour or two,” he explains.
The San Fransico-based musician attributes some of his lyrical struggles to an unfortunate head injury he suffered in 2013, stating that since then he just doesn’t have the energy to worry so much about things. While he feels the incident caused him to lose parts of his personality he felt defined him, he found that his soul, a part of his being used in all his work, was filled with so much of the personality he thought was gone.
Earth City and Our Love is Beautiful
Ethan’s most notable work to date is 2011’s critically-acclaimed Songs From A Toxic Apartment and Gold is gearing up to release his next project, Earth City, later this year. The double-disc album expresses feelings of longing and alienation in our interconnected lives: a longing for other people and the feeling of connection and romance from each other and the world. “All of those themes work together as the record unfolds in a specific way. It goes from a little personal to searching in the city, to searching the natural world again,” he goes on to say, “I tend to go into an altered state when I’m writing, especially on a scale like this. Sometimes it’s me, but in a lot of cases, I’m picking up on the energy and communicating with them through the songs.”
The latest single from the album, “Our Love Is Beautiful,” is a piece that uniquely encapsulates feelings that are being felt around the world and ironically, feelings the world doesn’t have enough of right now: love for yourself and your fellow human, and a sense of understanding for those from different walks of life than your own, things Ethan holds very close to his heart. “I’m very much in favor of more conscious empathy for everybody. I think our civilization had developed in a way where that isn’t something that is very valued,” he says, “We need empathy with everything that is going on in the world on so many levels. I feel like our civilization is desperately needing a shift towards a more caring perspective.” The video for “Our Love Is Beautiful” was shot on Ethan’s iPhone during his travels and shows people from all around the world reciting lyrics of peace and caring for one another.
Funny enough the song has also been used at weddings; which it’s perfect for! “A fair number of people would write to me asking for the chord progression so that they can sing it to their brides,” Ethan remarks.
The Caring Artist
“I feel like with an artist or anybody making any kind of art, it should be cool to care, as in making the work the best you can. Make it tug at your heartstrings and make it badass at the same time,” states Gold, who has a good amount of music just waiting for the right time to be released. Ethan states, “I have to feel what energy the work is giving out. Right now, Earth City just feels right.” ethangold.com