The ethereal and earthly glow of Jeffrey Silverstein's solo debut

Record store hangs with Jeffrey Silverstein; photographed by Alex Kocher.

Record store hangs with Jeffrey Silverstein; photographed by Alex Kocher.

Jeffrey Silverstein of Nassau recently stepped out on his own to make his evocative debut solo effort. Releasing the How On Earth EP for Driftless Recordings, the PNW dwelling artist shared a succinct cycle of songs set for the dawn awakening of spring and all the seasons that follow. The extended player is a record that speaks to those unconscious parts of the spirit and mind, recommended for rituals of morning commencement, pensive afternoons to relaxing evenings spent with gentle wonderment (and the company of loved ones).

How On Earth shines a light on Silverstein navigating a personal narrative through the craft of composition that treasures the trajectory of discovery by way of experimentation. If the cassette was a movie unto itself, "Given the Light" would be the opening title credit sequence that features groovy guitar licks echoing across a vast landscape, punctuated by minimalist drum machine percussion. Earth takes form with a meditative luminance as experienced on "Make Yr Peace and Have it Too", carrying forth with the bliss sparking beauty of "Pattern of Joy", shining a light on the sea of outstretched and extended arms reaching toward the heavens on "All Hands Raised". The cycle concludes with "Finds You Well" that sparkles like a sincere email or letter sent to an old friend, with Jeffrey's subdued delivery blended in a sincere arrangement of earnest chords and warm notes that feels like a hug (or warm blanket) of assurance that makes everything feel like it's actually going to be alright after all.

Meditations from Jeffrey Silverstein; photographed by Alex Kocher.

Meditations from Jeffrey Silverstein; photographed by Alex Kocher.

Silverstein shared an exclusive reflective prologue/intro to the debut EP:

How on Earth is the first collection of songs I’ve released under my own name. There’s a recent Talkhouse conversation between Kevin Morby and Hand Habits where they speak about Meg stepping into the ‘driver’s seat’ as an artist and bandleader. Working on a solo release in a new city challenged me to take a very active ‘driver’s seat’ role in each step of the process. I took the time to ask myself, what kind of music resonates deeply with me / what is it I’m trying to convey through the song? With those questions answered, getting started didn’t feel so daunting.

To put some healthy pressure on myself, I applied for an artist residency at the Sou’wester Lodge in a small town on the coast of Washington. They just so happen to have a vintage Ford motor-home turned recording studio/living space dedicated to musicians who are looking for a quiet spot to write/make demos, etc. Elated to be accepted, I utilized my spring break from teaching to write the majority of the material found on the EP. At the end of my residency, I performed alone at the microphone for the first time in over a decade. It was terrifying, however, the entirety of my experience there allowed me to access parts of my songwriter's brain that were building up some cobwebs.

No longer writing with someone else’s voice or playing in mind was freeing. My guitar playing improved, I learned more about home recording and have begun stretching my sea legs in regards to performing live. Looking forward to a productive spring/summer of recording and touring and am grateful to anyone/everyone who has taken the time to listen, share or support this release in any way.

Jeffrey Silverstein’s solo debut EP How On Earth is available now via Driftless Recordings and can be seen performing on the following dates:

May 3 Seattle, WA  - Belltown Yacht Club w/ Rainwater and Apples with Moya

May 4 Portland, OR - Mississippi Pizza w/ Wooden Sleepers