Brian Erickson Issues Solo Album

Rating: 5 out of 5.

New Jersey Scene Vet Makes Solo Debut

RIYL: Paul McCartney, Ben Folds, Real Estate, Soccer Mommy

ASBURY PARK, NJ – Little Secrets, the first-ever solo album from indie singer-songwriter Brian Erickson, glides along on a wave of casual virtuosity. Entirely self-produced, recorded, and performed at Erickson’s home during the COVID-19 quarantine, introspective lyrics are grafted to featherlight hooks to create a masterfully crafted record of pastoral bedroom pop.

Inspired by homemade LP’s like Paul McCartney’s Ram and Clean by Soccer Mommy, Erickson has built the kind of old fashioned-sounding album that you can sink right into. He adds new dimensions to his three-octave voice not by belting in his usual high tenor, but by exercising restraint and leaning on his greatest strengths: a preternaturally gifted ear and sharp ability to turn a phrase. Sonically, it’s a far cry from his prior work with indie rock bands The Extensions and The Paper Jets, but Erickson sounds completely at home, making it easy to believe that in some alternate universe, he could have been releasing winsome, effortless-sounding albums like this the whole time. 

Singles “Another Unfinished Novel” and “Shore Towns” embody the album’s take on nostalgia via two distinct approaches. The former began as a Paper Jets song in the late 2000s, when it was written by then-guitarist Bill Lambusta (now of Fake Pockets) and recorded in a bombastic indie-rock arrangement. But by ditching the volume and leaning into the melancholy of its message, “Novel” has enjoyed life in its reimagined form to the tune of nearly 10,000 Spotify streams! Meanwhile, newly written original “Shore Towns” is a wistful look back at pre-pandemic life in Erickson’s adopted hometown of Asbury Park, NJ, driven by the kind of lyrical detail that illuminates the best tracks from fellow singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers and John K. Samson.

And despite clocking in under half an hour, Erickson still manages to create a fully immersive album piece, frontloading the LP with single-ready material while the back-half medleys between short pop vignettes and Jon Brion-inspired instrumentals. It’s this dichotomy that makes Erickson a bit harder to classify; like an indie rock Todd Rundgren. More adventurous than your standard singer/songwriter and a little too firm-footed to just call it art. But one thing is certain: this is Erickson at the peak of his abilities; emboldened, confident, curious, and unafraid to take chances.

Little Secrets drops Friday, September 18th via Mint 400 Records (digital) and Aqualung Records (physical). Singles “Another Unfinished Novel” and “Shore Towns” are available now on all major streaming platforms. Erickson will be hosting a virtual concert on the night of the album’s release, so be sure to give him a follow!

For more information, visit Brian online:

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