On stage Alyse paces back and forth like a cat in a kitchen - who has previously spotted a mouse under the refrigerator. Her petite but athletic frame reflects the years of ballet dance training, while her aggressive demeanor leans more towards her baseball years at
Meeting up with Alyse on a sunny summer afternoon at a coffee shop in the heart of
Brooklyn (which has been the epicenter of ’s alternative rock music scene for
a while now) we discussed New York EULA ’s 2011
album “ ” as well as the events
and influences that has led her to this point in time. Maurice
Growing up as the youngest of three children in the
parents of Scottish and Italian ancestry, Alyse’s musical journey began when
she started playing piano at age 8.
Moving on to other instruments as part of her overall development, both
clarinet and saxophone were attempted, before she ultimately settled on
guitar. Alyse explained that “seeing Connecticut
perform” was a transformative moment for her.
Afterwards she knew that guitar was the instrument for her. Other artists credited as influences (or
simply bands she admires) are The Pixies, Smiths, Cure, Fugazi, Wire and My
Bloody Valentine. PJ Harvey
Alyse also credits her mother as a significant factor in her performance evolution as well. As a costume designer for theaters, Alyse would often accompany her mother to many of the events she was working. There she got an inside view of what performers go through. As for what was often playing in the house, mom favored artists like
Laura Nyro , Joni Mitchell and , while dad kept the
70’s rock flowing. It’s not hard to see
how these two streams of sonic influences (along with her own personal
preferences listed above) might procreate and mutate into the sound that Karen
Carpenter EULA is today.
" album track opener
"Dirty Hands" chugs along via thumping drums, rumbling bass and
twangy guitar. The vocals are purposefully filtered and positioned in
unconventional ways. Alyse sheds light on this process here: Maurice
The title track follows, with its distorted bass-heavy groove and alternating percussion enhancements (high-hat cymbals, clicking sticks, shakers). Of note is how Alyse will sing a quick melody line and play that same part on guitar in tandem. This adds an urgency to the track as well as an air of unpredictability.
"Oh Lord" sets the mood with beat-box percussion and overall spacious ambience, while the vocals are delivered in a sensual, babydoll manner. The two word, title chorus conveys a universal message of lust fulfilled.
Unafraid to take on controversial subject matter, “Honor Killer” takes less than two minutes to make its point. With the singer putting themselves in the position of an oppressed individual subjected to ancient cultural customs, “shoot me, hang me – come and get me” is the defiant plea.
“Awake” displays a somewhat bigger studio production, with layered vocals coming from multiple directions across the stereo field. Speedy tempo changes suddenly drop out in favor of calmer Sonic Youth-like plateaus.
“Bone Density” presents delightfully playful percussion elements. Hollow sounding “talking drums” share space with rim-shot clacks, the sound of ripping paper and the shaking of a tic-tac box. The subject matter references our confrontation of and ultimate dealing with the illness of a loved one.
“Texas Stampede” is the records (and live shows) balls-out rave-up. A frenzied vocal delivery has Alyse caterwauling “where were you!?!,” with additional unique lyrical imagery referencing a “quadriplegic falling to my knees” and the universal plea of “let me fall in love with something.”
“Wake Up” clocks in as the longest song on the record (a whopping 3:40) and finds the vocal melody line locked in closer tandem to the overall rhythm. The curious, repeated lyric “I’d rather leave than try to” precludes a more easily recognized “I will break your heart” statement.
An unexpected surprise (so deep into the album) is the electronic pulsed “Canyon.” With brass-wave synth throbs that one might justifiably accuse Goldfrapp of having previously borrowed from
and Iggy Pop (circa “The
Idiot”) Alyse measures her vocal output with appropriate pace. David
” closes the record
out with a solo acoustic guitar driven performance from Alyse. The song title references pain one feels when
looking into the eyes of a loved one who is suffering. An added layer of
electric guitar and glockenspiel provides just enough texture to underscore the
emotion conveyed. Hollow
To find out about and hear more of EULA, follow these links: