After teasing two preliminary singles six months ago, 26 year-old Brooklyn based singer-songwriter and musician Eitan Akman has released his debut EP as ATON. We’re pleased to premiere the three-track release, a collaboration with New York producer and multi-instrumentalist Wahono (the man who laid the groundwork for electro-R&B bangers “Rush Of You” and “Restless” by London’s Oyinda). ATON’s Falling Apart EP builds upon a soothing electronic ambiance with lush alternative rock arrangements that make for alluring and highly interesting pop songs. Title track “Falling Apart” is somber meditation on a relationship that’s met its unfortunate end (“Don’t know why I pretend anymore, even when I’m with you I’m alone,” Akman sings in delicate falsetto). Previously unreleased track “Warpaint” amps up the energy, setting a propulsive trip-hop sensibility against twangy guitar riffs and soft, soaring vocal hooks. But it’s during the final track “Whole World” where ATON pull out all the stops. Programmed drums and liquid guitar licks weave into one another with sophisticated precision, and as the five-minute song progresses layers of distorted human voices pile on top of Eitan’s soulful alto.
Stream Falling Apart and read our interview with Eitan Aman below.
Indie Current: What first inspired you to make music? How old were you? What were you listening to at that age?
Eitan Akman: Definitely my older sister! She was always writing songs or playing guitar or piano around the house when I was a kid. Eventually, I picked up the guitar as well at about age 10 or 11 and I’m pretty sure I was writing music right off the bat! I was listening to a lot random stuff lol! I was pretty hooked on Third Eye Blind believe it or not.
IC: Have you been involved with any other music-related projects before ATON?
EA: When I’m not making my own music I’m a professional guitarist so I’m constantly working with other artists, as well as playing weddings, and theater gigs. Recently, I’ve been playing with a really great singer named Sami Stevens and we’re playing at Shapeshifter Lab on Oct. 17th at 8pm and then again at Rockwood 1 on Nov. 5th at 11pm.
IC: How long have you lived in Brooklyn? Have you lived anywhere else?
EA: I’ve been living in Brooklyn for just shy of year. I used to live in Washington Heights, but I’m originally from New Jersey and I spent a few years in Boston for music school.
IC: What’s the story behind the name ATON?
EA: It probably sounds a bit silly, but I want to have a separation between my music and my personal identity. Not that I’m trying to conceal my identity by any means, but I just want my music to be judged as it’s own entity
That, and that’s how everyone thinks my name is spelled (at least everyone at Starbucks).
IC: How do you approach songwriting? Do start with the production and move onto lyrics or vice verse? Do you write in record in Brooklyn?
EA: I tend to start with the big picture and fill in the details later. I have tons of iPhone recording of complete songs, but with gibberish lyrics–they’d probably be pretty funny to anyone other than me haha! Mainly I focus on coming up with a great musical section or lyrical concept and then the rest of it I fill over the course of a few days or weeks.
IC: Did you play all the instruments on the EP?
EA: This EP as well as the one I’m working on right now is really a collaboration between my producer Wahono and me and the two of us play the instruments. He’s an amazing producer who’s worked with a lot of amazing artists. I met him while I was playing guitar for a singer he was working with named Najwa Mahiaddin and ever since then we’ve been getting together every other week or so and working on music.
IC: Tell me about the first vocal on “Whole World.”
EA: “Whole World” was actually at first the bridge section of another song I had written also called “Whole World.” In the song, I actually sampled my own voice and pitch shifted it and came up with that little melody. In the end it wasn’t a song I really wanted to pursue, but the changes and the sampled vocal melody on the bridge we’re cool so we decided to make a new song out of that. The name stuck as well!
IC: What is your favorite album of 2015 so far?