Sunday, October 14, 2007
Recognize & Analyze: Chris Ayer
Okay, so this is the first in a series of posts that will go up over the next few weeks, where I will take a chance by plugging some of my favorite artists that don't get a lot of attention. Just by the way, Vh1 put Foo Fighters in the "You Oughta Know" category when they put "The Pretender" in video rotation. Shameful.
Chris Ayer is a singer/songwriter that attended Stanford University and now resides in NYC. He used to play free acoustic shows right outside of a cafe that I went to all the time during high school. I saw him for the first time the fall of my junior year, and then started going to all of his shows because he is just a really personable guy that writes good songs. He self-releases all of his material, which right now includes the EPs Static and New Songs, his debut album This is the Place, and an album of live material available on iTunes here. He won a 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest award for his song "Evaporate" of off his debut album.
Most of his songs are soft, but there are a few that let loose a little bit. He's a great acoustic guitarist who experiments a lot with how he plays songs. Also, he does a cover of "Purple Rain" that absolutely kills me, I love when he plays it.
I've seen reviews comparing him to a lot of other guys that started out playing acousticly, namely John Mayer's first album, but I seriously doubt the liklihood of Chris ever moving over to electric guitar virtuoso in the way Mayer has. Names like Gabriel, Taylor, Damien Rice, and Paul Simon have been tossed out, but I don't really think he's a lot like those guys. Maybe it's just because I've gotten to actually talk to him a few times, but for some reason his songs and his attitude just don't seem like anyone else I've ever heard. Anyways, here are a couple sample songs from his earlier EPs. If you like it, go buy some stuff off iTunes or off of www.chrisayer.net.
Chris Ayer - Fade
Chris Ayer - A Starfish in the Front Yard
Chris Ayer - The Story