When last year I suspended the best albums project to start listening to music released in 2012, I decided that I should also start to get to know the music scene of the ’90s. So I searched for some artists and one day I found a band from Canada called Eric’s Trip. I had never heard of them and they seemed to be lost in the past. I felt that I was lucky to have come across this band, since I know that no one would probably recommend it to me. There are not many people who know about Eric’s Trip, though they have reunited in 2006. Apparently they started being known for being the first Canadian band to sign with Sub Pop, but they could never really get a lot of popularity out of Canada.
Eric’s Trip released four albums, but their debut, Love Tara, out in 1993, is for many the fan’s favorite one, and mine too. It is an emotional album, and for that reason is difficult to judge it. I don’t know if it is true but I read that it was written when Julie Dorion and Rick White broke up because Rick White was cheating on her with a girl that I guess was called Tara. The song “Secret for Julie" would fit that story: "It’s true that we were broken up, you could do anything, and you did” she first sings with her soft voice, but then in the second verse she says: “But if it’s nothing, then how come it’s so wrong?”
But even if that story is false, maudliness predominates in this album. “Eric’s Trip played melodic, catchy pop music at a time when […] this was largely uncool”, wrote Scott Plagenhoef for Pitchfork, and I think that is an accurate description, as they seem to be the opposite of rockstars; they sound shy and as if they were a band that is just starting, recording on someone’s garage.
When you listen to the opening track, “Behind the Garage”, it seems that you’re going to listen to another sad acoustic record. “What would you like to talk about, then?, since everything I say doesn’t make sense”, are the words that introduce us to the band, showing that confidence is not something that you are going to find in Love Tara. But then it is followed by “Anytime You Want”, full of messy guitars and hyperactive drums. Meanwhile, Julie and Rick sing together sweet lyrics: “hold me until I can’t feel arms, anytime you want”,(though that might not be the lyrics since they can’t be find anywhere and each listener try to translate them in a different way)
This contrast of rough guitars with mellow melodies is what characterizes the album. They are not poets and their voices can be sometimes out of tune, especially when Julie tries to sing rockier songs like “Blinded”, but those flaws are what makes this album to be so special. They are not trying to make a masterpiece, they are simply making heartfelt music.