i asked belle for her thoughts about the making of the cd and this is what she wrote:
where to begin?
eric has never considered himself a musician. always operating with a different set of rules than the rest of us. he lives music every day. almost constant noise in one form or another. guitar, piano, never bass. never.
polarbear was an experiment in complicated noise-making. layer upon layer. I remember people were amazed by the integration of a laptop in the live shows. put off even.
polarbear was mostly about people realizing that eric was not who they thought he was. he was interested in making things difficult. dismantling song structure. pushing the technology.
help wanted grew out of a different process. it was written on the guitar. in fact his renewed interest in guitar was sparked by persuading him to play a cover (a cat stevens song as a present for a friend's daughter). it was clear that he was not happy about the idea. until that point I never ever heard him play a cover.
I think e was reminded that day to take another look at the genius of other people's work. leonard cohen. pink floyd. lots of pink floyd. in particular the pure genius of roger waters poetry (one of the few musicians e considers a real poet, as opposed to a great song-writer). by always looking forward he had forgotten to look back.
suddenly e was writing songs on the guitar that sounded like songs. help wanted grew out of his curiosity about that process. unconventional as always, he had somehow worked his way backwards to the place that most people start from.
process is always very much in evidence in eric's work. in music as in his life, nothing is hidden. he has a deep appreciation of the happy coincidence and of the beauty of imperfection. he is endlessly curious about everything (as you might have noticed).
I should mention that we got a piano about six months ago. if you have a chance to see the 11th hour documentary, you will see what I am talking about...