To describe Eric Contractor as a singer-songwriter in the traditional, guitar-slinging sense is not sufficient to portray the richness and originality of his music. It all begins with his singular, powerful, baritone voice that evokes ancient mysticism and retro rock crooners of yore (think Roy Orbison, Bing Crosby, Chris Isaak, and Jim Morrison), and is woven into a modern, art-rock context. Once you add in Eric’s poetic lyrics, modern instrumentation, near-operatic theatricality, soulful phrasings, and a striking harmonic sensibility, you’ve got a whole new bitches brew Eric calls “Bel-Canto Art-Rock.”
Music has been an enchanting force in his life since childhood, from which he has vivid memories of The Mamas and The Papas, Ella Fitzgerald, Motown, and J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. Soon after the discovery of his singing talent, Eric was off to New York University to study music, and begin his journey as a songwriter. New York provided a kaleidoscope of cultural experiences and performance opportunities, all of which enriched his imagination and expression. The grand scale of New York, with its soaring buildings, diverse neighborhoods, and inhabitants, sparked Eric’s imagination to tell stories through the heightened reality of song.
In New York, Eric has consistently studied his craft, playing countless stages, and worshiping at the pantheon of greats such as Radiohead, The Doors, Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and Aretha Franklin. Eric also draws inspiration from other modern acts such as The National, Lana Del Rey, and Aphex Twin. He continually seeks lyrical inspiration while reading the works of poets like Goethe, Rilke, Rimbaud, and Robert Frost. With his distinctive, outsized voice, Eric loves practicing the fine alchemy of song with its ability to emotionally transform a room and its listeners.
For years now, Eric has been honing his music on the NYC music scene and beyond, playing at famous venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, Pete's Candy Store, and The Bitter End. Eric released his debut album Night Escape in April 2011, which was produced by Dan Mcloughlin of The Push Stars. The album is Eric’s biggest accomplishment to date, and features romantic-themed songs, imbued with cinematic gestures and fantasy-oriented moods. The songs on Night Escape are inspired largely by the romantic and imaginative possibilities of the night, and have received a glowing reception in the indie music blogosphere. Eric’s set in the Making Music Fest New York was featured in The Aquarian Weekly, and he continues to entrance audiences with his unique vocal style and memorable songs. Eric is currently recording new material, and his new single “Mad for the Light,” will be released in early 2015.