Elisa Peimer Looks at Life From “Inside the Glass”
Elisa Peimer is not your typical singer/songwriter/folk artist. Many of her songs are played on the keyboard, not your standard issue folk instrument. Her background started at a young age with an interest in show tunes. As an adult, her early recordings would probably be classified in record stores (if any still exist) as “pop” music. Yet her new recording Inside the Glass showcases a talent that fits in well with the best of the living traditions of the contemporary folk scene. Her songs come from a community of shared feelings and situations, which is the roots of folk song.
Elisa Peimer and Jon Sobel
in the studios of WFDU-FM
I first met Elisa back in 2012 when she was part ofJoni Mitchell’s Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration, a CD and a tour that was put together by musicians collective Chicks With Dip. After joining the collective, an informal musical collective of the NYC area’s finest female singer-songwriters, Elisa became became inspired by the energy and talent of the group to begin work on her new CD. The songs she began creating developed a new edge and she ended up with a diverse and highly entertaining recording.
Inside the Glass, Elisa’s fifth CD, explores different styles and exhibits her skills in telling stories and sharing experiences. One of my favorite cuts is “Bobby Hollywood,” a song inspired by an overheard conversation at the Union Square Green Market in NYC. It is a homage of sorts to life long New Yorkers and the more recent hipster converts that make up the ever changing city scene.
The song “Daffodils” was born out of a winter that seemingly would never end and it delivers a welcome sense of hope and a reminder that things will get better. Much needed at any time of the year!
The topic of “love” has always been a staple of the singer-songwriter genre. The tribulations of relationships have led to countless songs about the subject. Elisa takes a new approach with “Good Song” about a woman who finally meets the right guy and becomes miserable because she now writes corny songs. The upbeat tempo and pop stylings of the recording are far from corny and reveal a clever songwriter with a unique insight.
“Inside the Glass”
Elisa also tackles the subject of love and relationships in songs like “What Would He Say.” The recording of the song centers on Elisa’s voice and her keyboard and delivers a moving and somewhat bittersweet performance. Likewise, the CD’s opening song “Better” deals with a woman questioning whether they are with the right person.
Inside the Glass was produced by Elisa and Irwin Menken (The Lee Ranaldo Band)and was recorded by Grammy-winning engineer Ted Young (Sonic Youth, Mick Jagger). Accompanying artists on the recording include her Chicks with Dips peers Cheryl Prashker and Carolann Solebello. Elisa’s husband, Jon Sobel plays bass on a number of the cuts and also accompanied Elisa when she performed on my radio show.
Elisa impresses with her fresh and interesting perspectives on topics that could become cliche in the wrong hands. Elisa crafts powerful songs and possesses a stunning voice. This new CD and her concert performances reveal a unique artist whose profile is rising in the acoustic music community.
Intense, Purist, Catchy Tunesmithing and Devastating Wit from Elisa Peimer
The funniest song on the album is titled Good Song. Anyone in the arts can relate to this one – see, the girl in the story used to write one great tune after another until she finally got into a good relationship with a guy. Now she’s happy…but she’s miserable all the same since all her new songs are trite and cheesy. The last verse is priceless. Bad relationships: the gift that keeps on giving!
The band blazes through stomping, new wave-inspired powerpop in the bittersweet Good for You, a dead ringer for vintage early 80s Motels. Bobby Hollywood, another Celtic anthem, is Peimer at her crushingly sardonic best. In a couple of tersely crafted verses and a chorus, she nails the pathology of the kind of gentrifier narcissists who frequent places like the Union Square greenmarket:
I was buying Brooklyn pickles
Made by a hipster out in Queens
Surrounded by my neighbors
In their hundred dollar jeans
But the one that caught my eye
Was the one that didn’t care
About the cooking demonstration
‘Cause Bobby Hollywood died right there
..But the teller of the story
Seemed to vanish in the crowd
Lost in trucker hats and strollers
Of the financially endowed…
Aloft with pilllowy strings, the parlor pop ballad Poetry is a lot more enigmatic – until the ending, which is way too good to give away. Hint: this song is MEAN! The band gets electric again on It’s All Right, a mashup of Rolling Thunder Revue Dylan and more recent folk-pop. Then Peimer switches to guitar for the delicously jangly, uneasly anthemic Can’t Make Me Stop Loving You.
She paints a guardedly hopeful late-winter tableau in Daffodils, then follows that with a considerably more morose, angst-infused parlor-pop ballad, What Would He Say. The album winds up with the towering, overcast art-rock anthem This Life. Another first-class release from a member of the Brooklyn-based Chicks with Dip songwriters’ collective, whose members include Aimee Van Dyne, Sharon Goldman, Carolann Solebello and several other cult favorite songsmiths..
Elisa Peimer’s voice is a compelling instrument. Although it’s hard to tell from a studio recording just how powerful a singer’s voice is, one thing is certain: Peimer’s voice conveys enormous emotional presence.
She has a knack for writing dramatic songs that could serve as a soundtrack to a movie or a score for a broadway musical.
Case in point, the chorus for “It’s Alright,” track 6 on Inside the Glass: It’s alright, I’m alright / Hoping I can find the answers / I’m trying, I’m lying / Right beside the one to set me free. We don’t know the specifics of the unsettling mysteries within the relationship in the song, but Peimer’s vocal convinces us that she’s shaken by doubt, but determined to see the dilemma through.
Likewise, in “Daffodils,” while the lyrics might seem mundane, her performance gives me plenty of reason to relate to her point of view: When the winter wind is blowing again / And the arctic air is keeping me in / I have faith that spring is around the bend / And the daffodils will appear again / And the daffodils will appear in the new year.
In “Bobby Hollywood,” we get a strong taste of her powers of observation and attention to detail: I was buying Brooklyn pickles / Made by a hipster out in Queens / Surrounded by my neighbors / In their hundred dollar jeans / But the man that caught my eye / Was the one who didn’t care / About the cooking demonstration / Cause Bobby Hollywood died right there.
The album’s climax, “This Life,” has all the trappings of a rock anthem. Peimer’s vocal soars as she sings: But this life / Will never come again / So why do I pretend / That that’s OK / One chance / Is all we’re gonna get / So why do I forget / And lose my way.
She convinces us that she’s a force to be taken seriously.
For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2008
Phone: (212) 366-6099
NEW YORK-BASED SONGWRITER ELISA PEIMER SIGNS PUBLISHING DEAL WITH HEAVY HITTERS MUSIC
Award-winning New York songwriter Elisa Peimer has signed an exclusive publishing agreement with Heavy Hitters Music, one of the industryâ€™s most successful publishers of independent music. Heavy Hitters, headed by veteran film and TV music executive Cindy Badell-Slaughter, will be representing Peimer's songs to its extensive client list, which includes programming such as â€œCSI,â€ â€œLas Vegas,â€ â€œER,â€ and â€œMen In Trees.â€ The company is also the primary music supplier for several daytime dramas.
"I'm very excited to be working with Heavy Hitters," said Peimer. "They have an wonderful reputation for being a creative bridge between the independent music community and the mainstream entertainment arena. Their relationships and contacts will allow my catalog to find a new voice in TV and film."
Heavy Hittersâ€™ Badell-Slaughter described Peimer as â€œan incredibly talented songwriter. Elisaâ€™s songs are inherently cinematic, with a sound that straddles the line between singer-songwriter and pop artist. That makes them a perfect fit for television and film."
Elisa Peimer's songs have garnered national press and radio airplay across the country, including New York's WPLJ. Billboard Magazine and CMJ have called Elisa's highly addictive songs "truly gorgeous" and "impressive," respectively. Her self-released albums have received unanimous critical acclaim and she was featured on the Amazon.com Pop Music front page.
The Heavy Hitters Music catalog is an Emmy award-winning collection of over 8,500 songs created and assembled to provide hit-quality source music to the film, television and advertising community. Owner Cindy Badell-Slaughter is a 23-year music executive in the film and television industry, the last 10 of which she was Director of Music Operations for CBS Broadcasting Inc.
This is moving stuff that knows how to toe the line between too much and just right. Peimer's voice delivers the emotion she no doubt intended to relay when she wrote the lyrics. Track 2, "Set To Fly," is a perfect example of this. Lovely. Both the faster and slower tracks on the CD are well done, but it is the softer, silkier ones that really showcase this singer's skill for relating to the listener. Good stuff.
The musical arrangements are a bit atypical, but not in a distracting way, rather catching one's interest. That combined with the vocals makes for a very thick, layered sound that resonates. Don't miss Peimer's cover of "Ring of Fire," a peppy tribute to both Johnny and June done in such a way that one feels like dancing to it.
Peimer's voice is one that connects. It sounds throaty without the rasp, which makes it very soothing. Everyday music that can accompany nearly any mood, this CD would be good for kicking back to relax for a bit or even for some listening in the car. While some artists deliver music that is palatable to only a select group, this is a CD that has a wide appeal.
About ten years ago, singer/songwriter Elisa Peimer tested the waters with the release of her eponymous EP. It was received with critical acclaim and garnered comparisons with the popular female pop/rockers of the time. Since then, she has released three more full-length albums, with her most recent, Pull of the Moon, hitting record shelves last month. After listening to that one, I can confidently state that the praise she has received is well-deserved.
One main characteristics of her songwriting is an undercurrent of hopefulness, even when she is singing about less-than-hopeful situations. Pull of the Moon begins with a song that serves as the introduction to the rest. "Find My Way Home" talks about the search for home, with home as a metaphor for things like love, joy, safety, and stability. The song indicates that she hasn't found home yet, but that she's confident she will eventually. The rest of the songs on the album then alternate between exploring aspects of the beginning of relationships and the end of them, all the while Peimer continues to seek home, in whatever aspect that may mean for her.
The album as a whole has a 1980s ballad rock feel to it. The production is definitely modern and rich enough in depth to stand up to the headphone test. It's the arrangements that seem to be fixed in time with straight-forward percussion and lead electric guitar flourishes, and the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus song structure. Often I found myself wondering what an acoustic version with minimal percussion would sound like. There are a few songs that definitely fit the arrangement, such as "Living in a Bubble" and "I Give," but I think many of them could shine even more with less instrumentation weighing them down.
After a while, I can grow weary of in-love and out-of-love songs, and this album does being to drag occasionally for me. However, there are some songs that stand out with the shear creativity of how the situations are presented. "I Give" puts a one-sided relationship into the metaphor of a card game, and I found it easy to relate to. I think everyone has found themselves struggling with imbalanced relationships, any kind of relationship â€” family, friends, lover, etc. â€” and the song is non-specific enough to speak to all of them.
"Marine Layer" uses the meteorological sciences to describe a relationship gone sour. I had to look up the term to understand what it means, but even so, the context in the song is enough to get the gist of it. The refrain is almost hypnotic, and the arrangement is subtle enough to allow the beauty of the songwriting to shine through. It's a good example of how to end an album in a way that encourages the listener to hit the play button again.
Pull of the Moon is a pop/rock album with solid songwriting, and you've got to give it credit for that. Even after just a few listens, I had hooks stuck in my head on repeat (such as the chorus for "Set To Fly"). Sure, it has some weaknesses (as mentioned already), but Peimer is consistently good at delivering well-crafted lyrics, which in the end are able to make up for some lack-luster arrangements. Not to mention, she's got a set of pipes that can easily rival the likes of Stevie Nicks or Sarah McLachlan.
BMA Magazine, Canberra, Australia
New York singer songwriter Elisa Peimer has just released a new album named â€œTransparentâ€. And, it is transparent in its nature being an album that actually has some really great songs on it. Elisa Peimer seems to write songs straight from the heart, and she delivers them in a voice from the heart. Peimer definitely put her emotions into each song, and you can hear it in the vocals. The music is shimmering, straight-ahead piano pop-rock, heavy on the pop. â€˜Angel Of The Bluesâ€™, â€˜Long Way To Heavenâ€™, â€˜The Rest Of My Lifeâ€™, â€˜Turning Circlesâ€™ and â€˜Jerusalemâ€™â€™ are stand out tracks on this album. â€œTransparentâ€ is a creative and intelligent album that should be widely heard. This is really worth tracking down.
Inside Connection, March 2007
Elisa Peimer is Not a Role Model
Artist Recommends Paying More Attention to the Music
by Anne Leighton
I did a double take when Elisa Peimer (pronounced "pay-mer") said, "Musicians have no place being role models merely on the strength of being musicians," because I always saw this New York City-based singer/songwriter as a role model. She was together with her career, image and - most important - music.
Since 1998, Peimer has released her own music. Her latest is called Transparent. She's working on her fourth CD; she's done most of her own outreach and kept together a band with the current lineup of guitarist Paul Cabri, bassist Irwin Menken and drummer Scott Miller.
So while she accepts people who look up to her for her musicianship, she says that musicians who try to be political spokespersons "shouldn't be given any more credence in terms of their opinions than business people, sanitation workers and people in other careers. Someone such as Bono, who uses his notoriety and money for outside interests, can be considered a role model due to his political activism, but the fact that he's a musician is beside the point.
"We'd want to listen more to someone whose profession is politics, someone who has studied it. I look up to someone who did good for others - like helping kids learn to read or working at a soup kitchen - without expectation or reward.
"There are artists who've been through a specific issue. If Whoopi Goldberg was homeless, I'd listen to her not as a celebrity but because she lived it. Because this is a celebrity-driven culture, we're apt to listen to her with all her media exposure."
Peimer explains that there is goodness when music can find its way to an audience member's soul. "I love creating music," she says. "I love the effect it has on people. I'm connecting something that was very personal to me when I wrote it. And that song has become personal to someone else. My music finds a life of its own when it becomes that personal."
So she and all musicians are inspiration for people who go after their artistic dreams. "Speaking as a singer, I can say, 'I'm just a singer.' Singers are not role models. We just have good voices. And some not so good voices - just singers! It doesn't make me any more relevant in terms of expressing an opinion."
There are qualities that many people have that can be impressive to friends or fans. I've seen myself as a role model to overweight people because I never waited till I was slender to have a career. Peimer, whom I've always considered to be a classic beauty, says she was a "late bloomer to performing original music because I assumed I wasn't pretty enough to be a singer." But once "I cared more about the muse, the 'beauty' didn't matter, and I worried less about what people thought of me. So if they want to look at who overcame a physical insecurity, I did that."
And it's happening more and more with the music world. She notes, "Taylor Hicks isn't exactly the typical-looking [rock star] guy. I think people are willing to go back to the days before MTV now, when rock stars didn't look like models."
In addition to positive reflections about her image, she focuses on the gig she has, which is writing personal songs "that create their own life." And that focus ends up helping her career. "With industry critiquing, I know that it's not a personal insult [if someone doesn't like my music]. No one is expected to like everything I do, just like I might not like everyone's music."
But as she builds her career and focuses on her music, people continue to respond to what Peimer feels is the best reason to respect her, and that is her music.
The Deli, April/May 2005
Melodic Mass Transit - a busker who will make you happy to descend into the train tunnel.
Not everyone who sings in the subway of New York is crazy. The next time you are waiting for the F train and hear a young chanteuse next to you, it may just be Elisa Peimer, working out a new song. In the era of the Super Producer, three-person team outfitted to design the next new Avril LeCrap or Gwen Stephoney, Elisa Peimer is refreshingly honest and talented.
On much of "Transparent," Elisa's voice sounds theatrical. This is an effect not caused by any experience working on summer stock, but by her desire to reach her voice's fullest potential: "I actually only recently started working with a voice coach because I wanted to learn more about singing. I like good, strong vocals - both in myself and in singers I listen to.
Any religious thru line you might pick up on in songs "Jerusalem," "Heaven," and "Angel" is also a coincidence, although one that has been pointed out to her: " I never even realized it. I'm not a religious person, but I find religious imagery very powerful. There is a base human need in religion - much the same as there is in music, I think. It's part of the very crux of our being. But while the images are religious in nature, the themes are not. 'Long Way To Heaven' is about finding happiness in a less than perfect world. 'Angel of the Blues' is your unrequited love song. And 'Jerusalem' was meant to be a political musing after a trip I took to Israel."
Elisa Peimer's straight ahead singer songwriting is a poppy brand of optimism not usually seen on the LES. So next time you're on that train platform, the "crazy person" you hear singing may just be the girl whose signing was called "truly gorgeous" by Billboard Magazine. But it may not be. So be careful.
One Way Magazine, Oct/Nov 2004
Her voice is reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt's, but Elisa Peimer writes her own songs. On her third album, "Transparent," she switches effortlessly from ballads to kickass rockers while singing entertainingly of losses and longings.
96 Decibels, October 2004
"Last Train To Baltimore"
Surfing the artist in the folk music category and chanced upon this song. Its got an edge that will ensure that I check out a few more of Elisa's songs!
Icon Magazine, February 2004
Elisa Peimer, a serious singer/songwriter, seems to be just a step away from
being a mainstream artist. With a sound like Sheryl Crow, and expressive
lyrics, her album, Transparent, is filled with heartfelt melodies. Her
gentle style is captivating from the first track to the last. Elisa Peimer
has such an angelic and moving voice which she mixes with her empowering,
passionate, and charismatic lyrics. She entwines; country, folk, and rock to
her charming pop songs. Peimer has had a considerable indie career winning
the ASCAP Popular Music Award for the past four consecutive years. Itâ€™s only
a matter of time before â€œMiss Peimerâ€ is heard nationwide for her tender yet
BVS Reviews, January 2004
I just finished reviewing an album by Elisa Peimer that was great. It was her sophomore effort called Shed This Skin. It was released in 2000. I decided to take a look at her next album that was just released this last year. The title of this new album is Transparent. It has the same energy of the previous one, but the sound is a little more subtle and bluesy.
This time out, Elisa shared producing credit on the album with John Kurgan. He also provided some additional guitar work on the album. Artie Baguer played bass, while Paul Cabri played electric and acoustic guitars on the album. Scott Miller was on drums and Yael Shackham did the percussion. And DeAngela Napier provided background vocals. Elisa herself played both electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and did the vocals.
Take The Long Road is the first song on the album. It is about going the extra mile in a relationship to make it work. It is a pop / country style song that gives a good kickstart for the album.
Then things slow down with a ballad called Long Way To Heaven. The chorus shows how Elisa can change quickly from melodic phrasing to heart wrenching bluesy / country vocals.
Speaking of the bluesy, Elisa has a song on the album that is nothing but the blues. The tile of the song is Angel of the Blues. It is guitar laden, heartache of a ballad about a strained relationship.
The fastest piece on the album is a song called Previous Engagement. It is about being involved with someone who is tethered to another person.
Turning Circles is a haunting song. Elisa sings about trying to get a guy to stay away so she wonâ€™t have a chance to hurt him later on. The album is actually and enhanced CD that contains a video for this song.
I Hear You Call is a song that you might find on a Country radio station. It is about being lonely and waiting fro him to call her.
Other songs on the album are The Rest Of Your Life, End of the Road and When You Go.
The last song on the album is called Jerusalem. It is not exactly a praise song, but has some of the same elements as one. It is more of a folksy tune that provides a nice finish for the album.
BVS Reviews, January 2004
Singer / songwriter Elisa Peimer has a lot of people saying great things about her. The music from Elisa has been deemed impressive by several respectable publications. She has gotten some really good talent to work with her. Elisaâ€™s sophomore effort is called Shed This Skin. It is such a wonderful collection of songs that I am joining the long list of people saying great things about Elisa Peimer.
The album has 13 tracks. All of them were written by Elisa except for one. That one had the lyrics by Elisa but she shared the music credits with Sheldon Rifkowitz on it. The album was produced by Elisa along with Sue Fisher.
Listening to this album will have you wondering whose style Elisa is emulating. She at times sounds a little like Linda Ronstadt, other times like more of a mainstream soft rocker. But after listening to the album for a while, you will determine that Elisaâ€™s style is her own. Elisaâ€™s music is pop but has streaks of folk, mild rock and even country mixed in. She presents these elements in a balance that makes this album a very pleasurable listening experience.
Lose My Way is the first track on the album. It has a nice steady beat and lyrics that deal with a possible breakup and how she will get over it. With this song as the lead in, you just know that this is going to be an album well worth listening to.
The second track is Listen To Me. It has lyrics that deal with communication issues between lovers. It would be easy to make comparisons to other artists with a song like this. Elisa has been compared to other singers like Ann Wilson of Heart. She has the energy and the ability to make you stop and take notice from the first verse of the song.
Cellar Door is a song that sounds a little like something that Rondstadt might have done. Listening to it reminded me of another song, but I still canâ€™t think of which one. It is about letting her into his inner being and not shutting her out.
A little later on in the album there is a song called Last Train To Baltimore. It is a bluesy / country tune that deals with her man leaving. The song is a fun, toe tapping tune. It has some great guitar and piano work.
The musicians on the album with Elisa are Scott Miller on drums, Yael Shacaham on percussion, Paul Cabri with electric and acoustic guitars and Artie Baguer on electric and stand-up bass. Sheldon Rifkowitz does the keyboard work, Mike Cobb plays the harmonica on a song and DeAnglela Napier and Monica â€œLiâ€™l Moâ€ Passin share background vocal duties. Elisa provides vocals, keyboards and plays acoustic guitar on the album.
The album closes with a slow ballad called Cracked. It is about not being able to have her heart broken any more.
Elisa has had her music played on a couple of soap operas, a film or two and all over the Internet. She has won several ASCAP awards and opens for bands such as KC and the Sunshine Band.
With the talent and energy that Elisa Peimer has, she will go a long way. Take a listen to Shed This Skin and you will agree.
Indie Music, January 2004
Listening to Elisa Peimer's voice is as spiritual of an experience as the angels she writes of in her lyrics. With titles such as "Take the Long Road," "Long Way to Heaven," and "The Rest of My Life," you get the feeling that Peimer is enjoying life just as it is, thank you very much. In "Take the Long Road," Peimer sings:
I want the window seat so
that I can see the view and
I'll take the back way darlin'...
She's not afraid to combine folk, country, blues, and rock into her pop-based melodies. Peimer plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as keyboard. In addition, five other musicians (Artie Baguer, Paul Cabri, Scott Miller, DeAngela Napier, and Yael Shacham) lend their talents to this CD. The result hits home with heavenly force.
Peimer has said, "Beyond the difficulties we face in life there's an undercurrent of joy that is best expressed through music." This "undercurrent of joy" is felt not only through Peimer's lyrics but in her clear, soothing, ethereal voice that falls around you like the quiet movement of angels' wings. If you like Sarah McLachlan or Fisher, "see the light" and take a listen to Elisa Peimer.
The Muse's Muse, November 2003
The title of the CD is perfect. Unlike lots of pop singer/songwriters, â€œtransparentâ€ is not trying to be clever or mysterious, it just tells it like it is.
So do Elisa Peimerâ€™s songs. Each of Peimerâ€™s 10 songs seem to be written straight from the heart, and sung straight from the heart. Peimer definitely put her emotions into each song, and you can hear it in the vocals. It's like someone let you read their diary. Sometimes, however, as on â€œWhen You Goâ€, she puts so much emotion in the vocals that she gets a little loose with her pitch on the chorus. You can still appreciate the passion that she obviously feels.
The most interesting songs to me melodically are the piano based songs. Peimer seems to take more chances and you hear more diversity in songs like â€œTurning Circlesâ€ and â€œEnd of the Roadâ€. It is always tough to find the balance between creating your own identifiable sound, and not having your songs too similar to each other. Peimer has obvious talent and skill. But I like to hear her take more chances melodically and rhythmically as she does in these two songs. The diverse chord changes and unpredictable melodies are very pleasing.
Peimer is a gifted guitar and piano player. All of the players and the sound production throughout the CD are excellent. Many nice guitar and percussion touches on the songs add superior polish.
The backing vocal arrangements in all of the songs are very well done, especially on â€œTurning Circlesâ€ which I think is the strongest song on the CD. These are never overdone and appropriately add depth and texture. She and her producer have an excellent ear on these vocal arrangements. â€˜transparentâ€™ is also an enhanced CD so you get the bonus of a free video of â€œTurning Circlesâ€.
Peimer definitely put her â€˜allâ€™ into the CD. Fans of pop singer/songwriters like Jewel will appreciate Peimerâ€™s honest and â€˜transparentâ€™ emotional and passionate songwriting.
Yeah Yeah Yeah, October 2003
The third release from this New Yorker is a well-crafted folk-pop treat.
Though most of the material stays on the contemplative, mellow tip, there
are enough upbeat moments that Indigo Girls fans will likely dig.
Well-produced and contains an enhanced video to boot. Nicely done.
Kosmic Blues, July 2003
Elisa Peimer has stuck by her muse and finally produced a CD that sounds as good as her talent deserves. Knowing what kind of music she wants to master - shimmering, straight-ahead pop-rock, heavy on the pop - and devoting all her energy to it has paid off.
Here and there the gears of formula can be heard grinding, but as a rule the songs succeed on their own merits, with strong hooks and well-crafted lyrics, even as they adhere to pop conventions. "Take the Long Road" and "Long Way To Heaven" could be hits for any pop diva. "Angel of the Blues," the only minor-key ballad on the album, is a memorable wail of disappointed love, while "Previous Engagement" is a John Hiatt-esque two-minute speed-rocker that makes a nice break.
If I had to pick one standout on this album full of good songs, it would be "Turning Circles" (a nice video of which is included on this enhanced CD). It's a gorgeous song in which, without undue histrionics, Peimer's crystal-clear voice wrings every drop of pathos from haunting verses and a soaring chorus.
Don't come near me I'm contagious
Though heaven knows just what I've got
And though it hasn't worked in ages
It's still worth giving it a shot
Am I getting anywhere
Turning circles in the air
"End of the Road" is a Cindy Lauper-esque pop bauble. "When You Go" has a simple chorus where one unexpected chord change makes something just new enough out of a time-worn musical convention. "Jerusalem," a highlight of Peimer's live shows, provides a catchy, sophisticated epilogue. Transparent as a whole makes clear that Peimer's creative imagination remains fertile as ever; she continues to prove herself a true master of songcraft.
Meanwhile Elisa Peimer the singer is putting the songs across with spirit and skill. Her tone is full-throated, steady and, at its best, beautiful. But in spite of her growth as a singer, her voice has limitations, and the CD's one weakness is that at times during the higher-energy songs, the singer's upper register isn't up to the music's emotional peaks. Still, it's more than sufficient to make this CD a success on all levels. Not everyone has to be a diva, anyway. Transparent has plenty else going for it.
Indie Music Explosion, April 2003
"Shed This Skin" by Elisa Peimer takes her singer/songwriter style and fleshes it out into a sometimes exciting sometimes melancholy indie rock world. Her first full length effort, Peimer plays keyboards and acoustic guitars besides singing all the songs and acting as primary producer. Her vocals range from quiet and pretty to strong and relentless on this CD and the record as a whole works well.
"Last Train To Baltimore" has some great blues guitar by Paul Cabri and is a vocal high point on the record for Peimer... it's a really fun groove and I could see this one going over really well in any blues club anywhere. "A Little Too Soon" features a good harmonica performance by Mike Cobb and Cabri's mandolin makes a nice folky texture which compliments Peimer's voice
really well. "We'll spend our days on Venus and We'll spend our nights on Mars... I'll never fly into space, I'll never walk on the moon" she sings wantingly as she sees how the wonders of the future are for those to come after and not for us living in the here and now. "Cellar Door" is a nice relaxed groove tune with strong wah guitars and good energy. "Close" is my favorite song on the record and has a memorable hook. The style on this song could be a career in itself for her. "Cracked" is a great folk rock ballad with fingerstyle guitar and a vocal performance worthy of Peimer's emotionally charged lyrics.
For the most part the record is well conceived although occasionally the hooks and chord progressions seem a bit similar. But there's enough variation overall to make it a strong CD definitely worth a listen. Peimer's a very competent songwriter with a good band and "Shed This Skin" is decidedly a step toward a mature studio sound for her. A touch of the blues, a touch of folk, all wrapped up in a package of strong indie rock."
York County Coast Star, August 29, 2002
Poor Elisa Peimer. She's been bothering me for something like six months to review her album, "Shed This Skin." Seems like every week she'd email me to ask if I'd written the review yet, and I'd email back something like, "I'll do it very soon, I PROMISE," and then not listen to the CD for something like a year. Her persistence pays off, and I'm breaking my promise not to review older albums ("Shed" was released in 2000, according to the copyright date).
"Shed This Skin" is the type of album you need to hear during a horrible day of work, where no one, especially your boss, is listening to you, and you need to shout "Hey! I matter!" Unless you work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, shouting randomly is likely to get you fired, so your next best bet is to give this CD a spin.
Peimer has very strong vocals, and a catchy pop-folk-rock sound. Songs of note include "Close" a sweet ballad vaguely reminiscent of some Indigo Girls, while "Cellar Door" mixes in some sexy urban folk into standard folk melody, making the song unique. Also, check out "A Little Too Soon, "great singer-songwriter folk style, with some excellent backing instrumentation.
There, you've got your review. Now leave me alone.
It's About Eve: Music For The Cure
"This year alone, an estimated 182,800 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and approximately 40,800 women will die from breast cancer."
----The Libby Ross Foundation
On June 13, 2002 ForeReel Records will release It's About Eve, a charity album to promote breast cancer awareness and independent women's music.
After the tragic loss of a young family member to breast cancer, Hernando Courtright, founder of ForeReel Records, came up with the concept for It's About Eve, a charity compilation CD featuring independent female artists. "The genesis was the passing of my cousin to breast cancer. I felt the need to do something in her honor. While running in a marathon or giving money to a charity seemed OK, I thought [a CD] would have more of an impact and help bring awareness to this problem," says Hernando. "From a charity point of view, I would like to raise as much [money] as possible to promote breast cancer awareness and bring a better understanding of the pervasiveness of the disease to young women. As for the artists, they are all so talented and enthusiastic about their music. My hope is that they will be discovered by a larger audience."
Hernando started this project over a year ago, in early 2001, by putting together a list of artists and deciding on a theme. When asked how he navigated through such an enormous pool of talent Hernando says "Some came to me through submissions to my management company and label. The balance came from my network of contacts. They were chosen for their talent and the enthusiasm expressed in their music." In the end, he chose 13 extraordinary artists representing some of the best talent in independent music. They range from rock bands to folk artists and some amazing singer-songwriters: Andrea Maybaum, Debra Davis, Deena Miller, Edie Carey, Elisa Peimer, Emily Curtis, Lava Baby, Julia Greenburg, Ina May Wool, Heidi Petrikat, Nancy Magarill, Sister Someone and Wellville. Each one donated a track to It's About Eve.
The number of women who are affected by Breast Cancer each year is at catastrophic proportions and awareness is one step to help change those numbers. "By using music to promote Breast Cancer Awareness to young women, we hope to make them aware of this pervasive health problem - sorting out myth from fact is critical," says Hernando. The proceeds of It's About Eve will be distributed to three different charities: The Libby Ross Foundation, The T.J. Martell Foundation and Comedy Cures who are working very hard to raise Breast Cancer Awarenss.
For some of the girls who worked on this project, the theme hit close to home. Here are some of their personal stories:
"While I was putting together my bio for It's About Eve, I wanted to dedicate it to [my mother], but realized that we had never talked about [her experience with breast cancer]. Last year, after 9/11, she came up and spent the day with me in NY and finally spoke about what she went through, why she never spoke about it and now we are so much closer. I think it made a huge difference to her that she could talk about it to me."
"My mother is a breast cancer survivor. I consider myself an incredibly lucky daughter in that she caught it early and only had to endure a lumpectomy followed by radiation. Many friends, both my age and older have had or died of it. I think all women live in fear of that lump and the fact that it is so widespread continues to shock me."
"My aunt Melody passed away from breast cancer and I saw how my cousins were badly affected by it. It's painful to see someone fighting so hard and slowly wither away while the family is brought down through it. I hope they do find a cure soon and also educate more on preventing cancer in the first place."
"I have a few good friends who are now battling Breast Cancer, in various degrees of treatment. I'm praying they survive. My good friend and neighbor has an extremely high rate of Breast Cancer in her family with many of the women dying before age 40. When her sister died of it at age 32, she and their other sister had elective mastectomies performed to prevent them from contracting the disease, a very courageous and necessary move. I'm happy to say, 8 years later they are both fine."
The opening track of It's About Eve is the only song recorded specifically for the CD - a vibrant, energetic cover of The Beatle's "The Word". Kicking off the song is a powerful chorus of over 25 female artists Hernando assembled from those who appear on the record as well as many others from the independent music community. The featured vocalist is none other than music legend Joan Jett, an old friend of Hernando's, who also performed lead guitar on the track.
As one of the first women to own her own label, Blackheart Records, Joan Jett was the perfect choice for the independent spirit of the project. "Hernando was a wonderful friend of mine when I was in the Runaways," said Joan, "and I totally enjoyed being part of a project that is his passion after all these years. As an owner of my own record label, I'm certainly someone who appreciates and admires independent minded women. While we heed the call to support the WTC victims and our military overseas, we can't forget women's health concerns."
"My original idea was to do "Yesterday" since Paul [McCartney] wrote it about his mother who died of breast cancer," says Hernando. "However, I realized that it would not lend itself to a sing-along with guest vocalists. Our producer Rob Stevens chose "The Word". It was more rock, less burnt out (at radio) and a bit hipper for an indie vibe." Rob Stevens is a client of Hernando's producer management company who has worked with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Yoko Ono. "Besides choosing the track, he did a kick-ass job." says Hernando of Rob's work. The result is a soaring psychedelic/rock version of the classic song.
Coordinating the recording was an enormous accomplishment in itself. "The making of the bonus track was inspiring on many levels. All the women cooperated and gave great performances with no ego," says Heranando. "We got all the background vocals done really quickly - a testament to the talent both in the studio and the fine folks behind the board" commented Elisa [Peimer].
For the women who participated in the recording, it was an incredible opportunity and experience to work with their peers in the music community. Elisa Peimer noted, "I had never met most of these women before and yet there was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie." Another vocalist, Heidi Petrikat says, "I had a lot of fun working with all the girls, learning how talented they all are in their own way." "The shy type that I am was overwhelmed by all the ladies. But, it was like in a chorus in high school, which I always enjoyed," says Julia Greenberg.
It's About Eve is an incredible display of talent and music and a testament to the incredible work people can do together helping others. Breast Cancer Awareness can change the lives of many women. As we see in Hernando Courtright, it is not just a woman's issue.
It's About Eve can be purchased at the WOMANROCK MusicShop on June 12th.
Billboard.com, May 1, 2002
Jett Adds Track To Breast Cancer Benefit
Veteran rocker Joan Jett has recorded a cover of the Beatles' "The Word" for a new compilation that benefits breast cancer charities. The song is a bonus on the otherwise 13-track "It's About Eve (Music for the Cure)" album, which is made up of songs by female independent artists such as Lava Baby and Julia Greenberg. The set will be released June 13 via Fore Reel Entertainment.
"As an owner of my own record label [Blackheart Records], I'm certainly someone who appreciates and admires independent minded women," Jett said in a statement. "While we heed the call to support the [World Trade Center terrorist attack] victims and our military overseas, we can't forget women's health concerns."
"This project was inspired by the death from breast cancer of a young family member," Fore Real co-owner and compilation executive producer Hernando Courtright added. "In looking for a way to do something personally, I realized that music is what I know and what better way to promote a better understanding of this disease to young women."
All of the net proceeds from the sale of the disc will be donated to the TJ Martell Foundation and the Libby Ross Foundation, two charities that benefit research and outreach programs for breast cancer. For more information on the project, visit the "It's About Eve" Web site
As previously reported, Jett will soon be seen on the silver screen in "Prey for Rock & Roll." The artist will portray herself in the film, which will star Gina Gershon ("Showgirls," "Face/Off") as the leader of an all-girl band trying to make it big in the Los Angeles rock'n'roll scene. Jett will also play guitar on the film's soundtrack.
Here is the "It's About Eve" track listing:
"A Million Voices," Deena Miller
"How Does It Feel," Wellville
"Desperate Lord," Heidi Petrikat
"If I Did Not Have You," Lava Baby
"Princess," Andrea Maybaum
"To Be a Girl," Sister Someone
"Ode to Mother," Nancy Magarill
"Just the Same," Emily Curtis
"Boxer Hill," Julia Greenberg
"Last Train to Baltimore," Elisa Peimer
"Angels In the Attic," Debra Davis
"Fall or Fly," Edie Carey
"Moon Over 97th Street," Ina May Wool
"The Word," Joan Jett (unlisted bonus track)
New York Times, March 13, 2002
In New American Blues, the Toll of 9/11
Is the world ready for a bouncy singalong ballad about Sept. 11? David Heitler-Klevans thinks so, and he appeared to have most of the people in a small, packed Greenwich Village folk audience on Monday night singing in agreement.
"All those people in New York shouldn't have died, they shouldn't have died," sang Mr. Heitler-Klevans, a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania. "Try some harmony!"
Kathleen Pemble, on the other hand, offered a quiet and mournful tune that she wrote last October as she watched her husband, a firefighter with Engine Company 73 in the Bronx, struggle with the emotional devastation of searching for the remains of his friends at ground zero.
"There, every day you are standing, every day you are falling," Ms. Pemble sang.
The folk music concert that was presented on Monday in the basement stage at the Cornelia Street Cafe was full of jangling juxtapositions like that. Images of fire and death were followed by rousing anthems of patriotism, followed by anguished, minimalist statements about the search for any meaning at all in a world altered by terrorism.
The one rule of the evening, which was organized by a Manhattan singer-songwriter, Valerie Ghent, to raise money for a ground zero relief fund, was that the pieces had to be about Sept. 11. Privately, Ms. Ghent said, she created a second threshold criterion â€” that the evening would be not a "therapy session," but rather an attempt to find real artistic expression.
What became clear when audiotapes and poems starting arriving from as far away as Arkansas and California, however, was that people had begun writing in ways that went far beyond how they had felt when they saw the twin towers fall, she said. The songs were about guilt and responsibility, collateral damage in the lives of survivors, and over and over again the sense that the losses were more complicated than anybody thought. Many were in fact not about the terrorist attacks at all, but about the world since, the odd new spaces in life, the altered textures and the difficult effort of moving on.
"There is no happy ending," Ms. Pemble said in introducing the song about her husband, called "Engine 73." "There is no redemption."
Expressing, in three or four minutes of words and music, the tangled emotions of the world after Sept. 11 is clearly no easy task. Although some of the 20-odd performers and writers said the melodies and turns of phrase had come all at once, in a blazing instant in the hours and days after the attacks, others said the finished product had to be almost tortured out of them. Norma Hardy, a Port Authority police officer, said she struggled for months to get the words right for her poem "The Men." (But then she did not want to read it herself; she left that to a fellow officer, Mariella Coleman.)
Two singers performed songs written before Sept. 11 that had become more relevant, they believed, since the terrorist attacks. Both said they had become almost blocked from writing anything about the attack on the World Trade Center, or on what it had done to the city and to their lives.
"It's such a complicated and difficult personal subject," said Elisa Peimer, who performed a song called "Hope" that she wrote two years ago with a friend, Shelly Riff. "I don't know what I would say."
Some writers focused their attention on emotions, others on the tiny details of time stopped short: an overturned hot dog cart covered with ash, shattered eggs from the restaurants in the World Trade Center, a spider that had until the day of the attack been living quietly, "unnoticed inside the leaves of a camellia plant on the windowsill." Others searched for clues of meaning beyond a brutal act of murder.
"Was the yawning, lazy blue of the sky complicit?" asked Frank Tedesso in his poem "When Mohammed Came to the Mountain," which he read accompanied by a friend on the cello.
Did starfish emerge from the ruptured socket of the sea
And swim upriver
To bear witness to the remains of names,
Naked and divided from bodies,
Piling up on the air?
The morning decomposed quickly,
Devoured by some terrible awakening
And by its own uselessness.
All this hysterical information
And wounded logic.
Some members of the audience, who included many police officers and firefighters, said they had been drawn to the concert specifically because they were looking for new perspectives on events that have been hashed over again and again in the news media and by political leaders but that still, six months later, remain incomprehensible. Attending funerals and ceremonies beyond counting, often with the same traditional songs played over and over, has become too much to bear, said Lt. Preston Fucci of the Port Authority police. "I'm Amazing Graced out," he said.
Greenwich Village is, of course, no longer the world capital for scruffy folkies the way it was a generation or two ago, when its walkup apartments were affordable to someone on a coffeehouse poet's budget. Most of the performers on Monday live in places like Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County, and most have day jobs.
But it was also clear that the old- style protest and antiestablishment songs that were the lifeblood of folk from the days of Woody Guthrie through Bob Dylan and beyond look just as dated in the world after Sept. 11 as a cold-water railroad flat.
Larry May, a 34-year-old substitute teacher from Queens, performed, for example, a song called "All American," written with a friend, Lance Jordan, about the many virtues of a nation united, strong, and well led.
"Give our leaders strength to make the right decisions," Mr. May sang. "We can't ever fail armed with justice and precision."
One of the few performers who was invited back up onto the stage for an encore was a New York City fireman, Hughie Lynch, whose song "Tomorrow," which he wrote nearly a decade ago, has apparently become something of a Fire Department anthem. He has now performed it at more than 10 funerals, he said.
The song, written for a friend who died in a fire, is meant to express what it feels like at the front lines of a fire, and why people become firefighters.
"I turn the corner, fire's out of control / There's people dying â€” why I just don't know," Mr. Lynch sang. "So I reach out my hand to do all that I can so that one might live tomorrow."
Ms. Ghent said the first time she heard the song she knew she wanted Mr. Lynch in the program.
"I suddenly understood what it's like at a fire," she said.
Mr. Lynch said it is people's views and feelings that have changed â€” the song remains the same.
"Before, it was just me singing about the Fire Department," he said.
Elisa Peimer does not, as they say, mince words. In "Listen to Me," the
hard-driving second cut on her new album, "Shed this Skin" (Hope Tunes), the
28-year-old singer-songwriter with the fire-and-ice pipes and no-prisoners
delivery levels her clueless lover with the kind of dressing-down most
spurned women only dream about. "You sit there with your stupid grin," she
spits out against the pulsing staccato of her acoustic guitar. "Is that all
you can do?" This is not to say Peimer doesn't give equal time to the softer
throes of love. Her stirring ballad, "Close," aches with the pangs of sweet
longing, while "Hope," an uplifting anthem to optimism ("When nothing is
left in this world for me there is hope") has pop hit written all over it.
Peimer clearly knows her way around a melody--but it's those lyrics that go
straight for the heart.
* * * Tuneful lessons in love from a wickedly wise wordsmith
Indie-Music, April 9, 2001
WOW. This girl is talented. Elisa Peimer, from New York City, is able to successfully combine her folksy, country, ballad sound with a touch of classy soul and turn it into a smooth-sounding CD. Peimerâ€™s CD, "Shed Your Skin,"has gotten considerable airplay on NYC stations and she supplements this with frequent, popular appearances at bookstores and clubs. I can hear strains of Indigo Girls and Paula Cole in her story-telling vocals that leave you wanting to hear more and more from her.
Type of Music: soft folk with a pop-py streak
Hometown: New York City
Highs: The first track is an incredible use of gentle-sounding vocals that speak some great lyrics. This where I first heard the Indigo Girlsâ€™ influence that she pulls off in a big way. The beautiful piano beginning on "Close" pulled me into a song that is a simple love ballad with a twinge of country woven through it. In every track, Elisaâ€™s gentle voice flows over the well-meshed guitars, drums and bass from her excellent band. In "Driving in the Rain," Elisa describes perfectly the feeling you feel when youâ€™re driving just to drive, as if driving will take away your worries. On "Last Train to Baltimore," a soul-packed ballad with
southern blues written all over it, I had to check the CD cover to make sure it wasnâ€™t a cover of some 1930s blues single.
Lows: As the Elisa progresses, she will vary the styles of her songs even more and continue to bring several musical genres to her songs.
Favorite Lines: "You didnâ€™t want to jump because you didnâ€™t want to fall" is a great line from the first track, "Lose My Way," that perked up my ears and made me want to listen to what she was talking about because I think everyone can relate to that statement.
Who would love it: Lots of fans here, I think. Fans of the Indigo Girls, Paula Cole, and any other earthy girl singer will fall in love with Elisaâ€™s easy-to-listen-to sound.
Foes: Elisa Peimer is not going to win over any Megadeath or Metallica fans, but then again, she doesnâ€™t want to.
Keep your eyes open for this Elisa Peimer, but, more importantly, buy her debut album "Shed this Skin," which sheâ€™s plugging in NYC to rave reviews. She getting some airplay around the country, so after you check out the CD, call your local new music station and tell them to play some Elisa Peimer.
GirlMedia, March 28, 2001
It's Girl Power Again
Elisa Peimer "Shed This Skin"- Review
Elisa Peimer might not appeal to the Spice Girl's legion of fans, but that
doesn't mean she can't scream out "Girl Power!" Peimer can definetly sing,
belting out her songs ala Fiona Apple and Alanis Morrisette, but without
the alternative edge. Her songs are empowering, no sappy I-Hate-Myself
tunes here. If you like your folk with rock mixed in, Peimer's album "Shed
This Skin" is for you.
East Coast Music Publishing Newsletter, February 2001
I'm rarely impressed by an artist, but I was blown away when I heard Elisa Peimer. I would not be surprised to see Elisa on a major label soon! If you want to hear some great music, I suggest you go out and buy Elisa's 4 song CD, which is self-ntitled Elisa Peimer and her full length CD entitled "Shed The Skin". This is some of the best music I've heard this year.
Elisa Peimer's style could be compared to artists, such as Jewel or Sarah McGaughlen in genre, however her songs are stronger lyrically, vocally and musically. I found on Elisa's first 3 song CD "Leaving Here Tomorrow" to be a highly moving ballad, which I was compelled to listen to time and time again. It came as no surprise that Elisa's had a great deal of success with that song in film and television. I recently listened to Elisa's new CD entitled "Shed The Skin". This CD was full of cleverly written songs that were highly commercial and relateable. I felt Elisa took me through a roller coaster ride of emotions with her highly visual lyrics that we can all relate to, but are written in her own unique way. Her voice is strong and beautiful at the same time.
I loved all the songs on the 13 track CD "Shed The Skin" and could see any of them becoming radio hits. My favorite track is track 11 "Damage", this song is very cleverly written and most people can relate to going out with someone who is "damaged". It is a rock song with moody tempo changes. It's an all around wonderful song. I also loved track track 4 "Cellar Door" a song with a driving force and written in a unique poetic way with wonderful tempo changes, track 3 "Close" and 13 "Cracked" are beautifully sung ballads, and track 7 "Driving In The Rain" is another favorite of mine, but they were all wonderful songs with top hit potential.
I have no doubt Elisa will be a big star! Remember her name, because I'm sure she's going to be huge! In fact when I speak of her, I always say she's going to make it in this business. I rarely listen to music for shear pleasure due to the large amount of music we listen to, but I find myself listening to Elisa's music and really enjoying it. Do yourself a favor and check her out, you'll be glad you did!
East Coast Music Publishing Online Radio, June 2001
She's an excellent artist. Featured songs on the show are "Cellar Door", "Leaving Here Tomorrow", "Damage". I love this artist and all her songs are well worth listening to, so go purchase her CD's, you'll be glad you did. She has a highly commercial sound and her lyrics will take you through many moods. An artist who stands out with a voice of an angel, but loaded with strength and emotion. This artist has it all. I listen to so much music, but Elisa stood out as one of the best artists I've heard this year.
Atnzone.com, November 2000/MusicDish, January 2001
Elisa Peimer â€“ Shed This Skin
Forgetting the music for a sec, if I had names to drop like Elisa does, Iâ€™d be on Cloud 11 by now. Wow! Hereâ€™s a girl and woman with drive. A couple of her songs (from her previous cd) were chosen to play on several soap operas; her â€˜Leaving Here Tomorrowâ€™ was heard on a Beavis & Butt-head video; sheâ€™s won ASCAP awards; has some deals going on with some big corporations; and gigs in Borders and has some top air play in NYC. How does she do it? Well, listening to the genre of â€˜Shed This Skinâ€™, Elisa is able to blend her sense of acoustic personalization into pop and rock with a dash of easy listening, bringing out a dish that is all her own.
â€˜Every time you look at me / I see something new / You got a face with a vista and a / Soul with a view / But every time I come inside / To take you by surprise / I feel the gates come crashing down / And the tension start to riseâ€™. Those are some of the words dug out of the â€˜Cellar Doorâ€™, a past life from the 70s, like a family demo from an up and coming singer. The confident younger generation sings into the mic while the rest of the clan are sprawled out, full of turkey and smiles. Just a thought, listening to Elisaâ€™s easy-going treat.
The production is simple, unobtrusive, built on solid songwriting foundations that keep you interested. The only thing I wish is that every song didnâ€™t sound as if it were done in the same mold. Thereâ€™s not a lot of variation in the Way the music is presented, though I like the style. Everything comes at you from the same area/angle. Then again â€“ itâ€™s nice to have a happy, loving constant somewhere in the universe.
Billboard Magazine, December 23, 2000
SKINNED BACK: We love the fact that singer/songwriter Elisa Peimer tells it like it is in her songs. The woman simply does not mince words. For proof, all one needs to do is investigate her first full-length album, "Shed This Skin."
The project offers a truly gorgeous array of nicely crafted songs that are underlined by lyrics far smarter and more clever than your average confessional pop. Peimer has developed an appealing vocal style that sees her glide with notable ease from white-knuckled belting to seductive whispers.
Peimer has earned high marks for taking her music to the clubs of New York. She's become a staple at venues that include Mercury Lounge, Fez, Arlene Grocery, and CB's Gallery.
Adding to the artist's increasing profile is the use of two cuts on the album - "Leaving Here Tomorrow" and "Lullaby" - on the daytime dramas, "As The World Turns," "Another World," and "Guiding Light."
For more information on this fine artist, call 212-366-6099, or visit her Web site, elisapeimer.com.
The Global Muse, November 2000
Elisa has the voice of a rocker, and the musical style of a mid 80's pop Goddess. The nice thing about this music is that there is a modern country crossover feel to it. I'm not sure why I get that vibe, but I there's no denying it's there. The music that you'll hear on this CD is performed with a soulful touch that simply can't be faked. Elisa pours her heart into many of the songs on this CD and it's made for a great production. The songs on this CD take me back to the time when Benatar, Heart, and The Motels ruled the charts. This is definitely a CD to be proud of. The songs reflect a beauty that has long been lost in today's modern pop styles. It's always nice to hear real quality in new music.
Online TV, October 2000
Elisa is a sweet little rocker. We encountered her first at the Acme Underground club. You can check out her concerts there below, but we really saw some amazing talent. With a gifted voice, this young energetic beauty starts you out in an upbeat rockin melody called â€œBefore you Say Goodbyeâ€ followed by â€œLeaving Here Tomorrowâ€ a ballad extraordinarie. Her rock writing is amazing and execution is exceptional. I think we can compare the voice to Pat Benatar and it is clean and fresh. The songs are catchy and well done, check them out and leave a comment yourself! The EP has two other tracks alternating between the ballad and the rocker too.
Vox Online, May 2000
Singer/songwriter Elisa Peimer shines in the four-song journey through some very personal territory. Each tune is a beautifully crafted vignette that left us wondering why there were only four songs! We weren't prepared for it to end. This is a pleasant beginning, and we're looking forward to moreâ€¦
Indiemonkey.com, May 14, 2000
love irony, surrealism and general bizarreness, itâ€™s the fact Iâ€™m British. With that in mind my favorite new fact of the week is that the producers of both "As The World Turns" and "Beavis & Butthead : Buttoween DVD" choose the same track from this CD to feature on their respective products."HuuHuuu thatâ€™s cool", as someone might say.
To be honest it is a lot easier to see it accompanying the bad acting of the former than the bad language of the later. Still Ms. Peimerâ€™s debut product, an E.P called cleverly "E.P", is a smooth as silk piece of work, with near perfect production. If you heard this CD and someone told you this was the latest release from Warner Brothers Records, and that they had spent a fortune on it, you would not doubt it for a minute.
The E.P consists of two pure ballads, and two jangly guitar pop ballads. All four songs have "background music for dramatic/emotional scene" stamped all over them. This is both a good and bad thing, certainly Elisa is a success waiting to happen, and I would be shocked at anything else befalling her. Against that is the problem of being trapped as a saccharine sweet member of the Lilith Fair crowd. If the tracks here are a sampler of her songwriting talented, that is superb, if instead this is her entire range then it might begin to get a little bland. Then again I have never had a sweet tooth.
Behind Ms. Peimer rich, and thank the Lord not whinny voice, are a group of talented musicians including Jefferson Thomas on Guitar and Shelly Riff on Keyboards. There is no doubting though that the four tracks here are mainly a podium upon which to display the voice and lyrics of Elisa Peimer. She has talent, of that there can be no doubt, I did thoroughly enjoy this E.P, but I donâ€™t think it is likely to become a regular within my CD player, then again I donâ€™t think for a second I am the intended audience, you may be. So give her website a visit and listen in to the next big thing.
East Coast Music Publishing Newsletter, May 2000
It's been a while since I've thrown in a CD and said wow, but that was definitely the case when I listened to Elisa Peimer's self entitled CD.
This CD had 4 quality tracks. My favorite is track 2 with the song "Leaving Here Tomorrow". This song has hit potential written all over it. "Leaving Here Tomorrow" is a ballad, which is beautifully written. It has soft piano and guitar. Elisa's voice comes through with pure feeling and power. Elisa's voice is that of an angel, it's so pleasant you never grow tired of it. It's also powerful and is very well trained. One of the best voices I've heard.
Lyrically the song is extremely well written. It is written by all the rules that every hit contains. Powerful chorus, loaded with feeling. The chorus goes "I'm leaving here tomorrow, no turning back, I've seen this place too many times before, I close my eyes, too blind to see the doorway, but I sacrifice these feelings for a chance at freedom". Her song is loaded with words of feeling and honestly, that people can relate to. The bridge jumps out at you when Elisa's voice increases with power.
I have to say if I was to compare her style, it would be to Sarah McCaughlin or Jewel. Her lyrics are written with an honest style such as jewel, but her songs contain more power more like Sarah. However, I feel Elisa is unique in her way. Her catagory would probably be alternative/rock or pop. Her music is pretty cross over.
Track 3 "Leave The Light On" is much more uptempo and sung with power. It could possibly cross over to pop country.
Track 4 "Lullaby" has a sad feel and differs quite a bit from tracks 2 and 3. If you've ever heard the song "Adrian" by Jewel, it may remind you a little of the sad feel.
In conclusion, this is great song writing with quality music and a great sound and feel. Beautifully sung. If you like Jewel and Sarah, prepare yourself for a sound that out shines them both.
If I could instill one thing in people, it's a song should make you feel it and remember it and there is a method to a hit song. Give "Leaving Here Tomorrow" a listen and see how well it is really written. I very rarely hear CD's that move me, but this one surely did.
I wouldn't be surpirsed to see this girl on a major label really soon.
Go visit Elisa's site and listen to her songs, you'll sure want to run and buy her CD.
Chic Musique, Issue 2, Winter/Spring 2000
Yep, besides the title being Elisa's initials, this is also an EP. I don't know if I'm especially enjoying this because it's the holidays or what. Not that this is at all holiday themed, just that Elisa's beautiful voice and lush songs just seem to fit the atmosphere right now. Elisa is another wonderful Indiegrrl bound for success. I'd have to say "Before You Say Goodbye" and "Lullaby" are my favorites.
R.I.Y.L. Lisa Johnson, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls
Get Fancy, February 2000
Elisa Peimer, EP (Hope Productions) (Formats: CHR/AC/AAA)
With one 1999 ASCAP Popular Awards credit under her belt this joyous, inspirational singer/songwriter and keyboardist has already been embraced by CHR power player Scott Shannon (WPLJ/New York) as well as three major daytime television soap operas and the producers of MTV's Beavis & Butthead Home Video line. A refreshing combination of acoustic guitar, piano, keyboards and mandolin, EP bounces from sweet and sentimental to intense inspirationals and is certain to give Jewel and Sarah a run for their money! Poetically pleasing, Peimer's passionate and powerful pop is a soothing addition to any CHR, AC or even AAA lineup. "Leave The Light On" and "Before You Say Goodbye" will undoubtedly capture the intellectual listener eager to find inspiration and insight in the sweet sensitive and highly orchestral songs of this old soul.
Elisa Peimer's four song EP, EP, is a blend of fast moving, addictive songs, and slow ballads. Prominently featured on the CD is Jefferson Thomas on acoustic and electric guitar, and Shelly Riff on keyboards. They supplement Elisa's acoustic guitar. The rest of the band includes Larry Borlenghi on bass, Scott Miller on drums, and Yael Shacham on percussion. Elisa's sound has a strong popular music influence. Elisa's vocals are a clear, focused wave that is neither overpowering, nor understated. Elisa's lyrics are a combination of metaphor and repeat choruses common to pop. The songs on EP are "Before You Say Goodbye" a fast paced lovesong about trying to keep someone from leaving, "Leaving Here Tomorrow" about a need for freedom outside a relationship, "Leave The Light On" about a desire for hope in spite of life's troubles, and "Lullaby" a creative contradiction to leaving a relationship. Elisa's style hints at more to come. Elisa's popularity is growing, and will be someone to watch in the future. Elisa is an Indiegrrl member.
The Muse's Muse - Review, June 1999
A 4 song ep showing considerable promise, as a singer and a songwriter both.
'Before You Say Goodbye' rocks into being with 'I see you moving toward the door / I see that distant look in your eyes / I ask if you'd like any more / your answer doesn't come as a surprise'. Backing guitar so fresh, you'd swear it was built that morning.
'Leaving Here Tomorrow' reminds me incredibly of Peter Frampton's 'Baby, I Love Your Way'; if PF's could be cranked down a speed or 2.
Depressing subjects, but treated musically in a way that makes the singer - and perhaps you the listener - come out feeling stronger than she went in. She takes you on a short emotional trip, one you've been on many times before, with many other songwriters, but you're glad she's along. Like a friend who can take your mind off things, for just a little while.
I look forward to a full album, because I can guess there are going to be some treasures there. This ep is like finding the treasure map.
Indie-Music.com, June 1999
Elisa Peimer's four-song EP is short but sweet - really sweet. And very catchy without seeming trite. The songs, two fast, two slower ballads, are sincere and personal, but Elisa's apparent openness as a vocalist and songwriter allow the listener to share her musical experience. While she's been compated in other reviews to Jewel and the Indigo Girls, Peimer's work is edgier, hip and displays a zest for life and all that encompasses. "Before You Say Goodbye" and the deliciously delightful "Leave the Light On" show off a more raucous style of roots-pop that gets your toes tapping and head bobbing with reckless abandon, allowing Peimer to show off a wide range of vocal style and ability. The two slower tracks, "Leaving Here Tomorrow" and "Lullaby", however, leave no room to doubt her ability to produce heartfelt lyrics and a smooth, lilting style. "Lullaby" is a beautiful song that draws you in and take shold of your inner child by the hand and soothes the soul.
Elisa Peimer is a promising and delightful talent who absolutely sparkles with charisma and a true gift for songwriting. For more information on Elisa and her upcoming performance schedule, log onto www.elisapeimer.com.
Getsigned.com Featured Artist, April 1999
Good things are happening for New York-based singer/songwriter Elisa Peimer. Two out of the four songs on her recently released EP CD have found homes on both television and film. Leaving Here Tomorrow will be featured on the upcoming Beavis & Butthead home video trailer and also on the soaps Another World and As the World Turns, which will feature the song Lullaby from the CD as well. That won't be the end of Elisa on TV though, since Columbia-Tristar has licensed her songs to appear on the popular series Party of Five and Dawson's Creek in the future. Of course all of these good things didn't come without a lot of hard work first from Elisa and a little luck mixed with determination. Her recent success comes after a well-received appearance on the popular New York radio program The Scott & Todd Show. Listeners called in to find out where they could buy Elisa's CD and, before you can say sold out, the Border's on Park Avenue was out of stock! "The Scott & Todd Show was one of those total fluke things where you say, let's just do something outrageous and see what happens. So I picked the most popular morning radio show in New York and sent in my CD, never seriously expecting anything to come of it," says Elisa. "When Scott Shannon emailed me, asking me to call his office, I couldn't believe it. The experience was fantastic! Hearing yourself on a nationally syndicated radio show for the first time is something else. And they played parts of all four cuts on the album, which was very, very cool. It was definitely one of the most exciting promotional experiences I've had."
Elisa's 'let's just see what will happen' marketing approach has done her pretty well in the past year. She's successfully gotten her CD in such retail chains as Border's, Barnes and Noble, and Sam Goody's with just a few phone inquiries.
"I hand-picked a couple of stores in town, called them up, and asked them if they'd be interested in selling my CD. They said yes, and bought a few copies," Elisa explains. "I definitely recommend selling your CD to a retailer who lets you do instore performances. I've done quite well at the local Border's because I've played there."
No stranger to gigging around, Elisa has amassed quite a faithful following on the local scene no doubt added to by her appearance at the 1998 Intel Music Festival. Given that she's played so many live shows before recording her first CD it's no surprise that her audience played a large part in her song selection for EP.
"To quite a large extent, the reactions of my audience help me decide what songs are my strongest and those are the ones I wanted to put on my first EP," states Elisa. "Sometimes as the writer, it's hard to be really objective as to what's a genuinely good song. I might think something's great, but it doesn't translate well to other people."
Elisa is currently working on her first full-length CD. For more information about Elisa, visit her website at: http://www.elisapeimer.com
Burn Yer Radio, April 19, 1999
This week's feature is "EP" by elisa peimer. this is the first cd i am featuring that was sent in to me, and believe me, this cd is incredible. elisa has one of the most beautiful voices i have ever heard. from soft and delicate, to bold and strong, her voice never wavers. it is always clear and bright. and although this is technically a demo style cd with only 4 songs, it sounds larger than life. the overall production quality is impeccable, which only says more about elisa since she not only wrote and performed on this cd, she also produced it! when i first listened to this cd the songs "before you say good-bye" and "leave the light on" jumped right out at me. they are the 2 more upbeat, catchy tunes. but over time "leaving here tomorrow" and "lullaby" began to grow on me. particularly "leaving here tomorrow", which has become my favorite song on this cd. it is a beautiful, heartfelt song about letting go and moving on which displays the strength of elisa's words as well as the strength of her voice. this cd is refreshing in that it portrays an inner strength and determination without the overload of angst and bitterness of so many of today's major label stars. in conclusion i'd like to say that this cd is a real treat, my only disappointment is that there aren't more songs!
The Star Wire, released January 1999
Elisa Peimer's "EP" Spotlights Singer's Smooth, Lilting Poetry
Although you may get flashbacks of the Moody Blues from the first song, "Before You Say Goodbye," it is soon obvious that Elisa Peimer's "EP" is in fact a unique blend of poetic bliss and misery that is as fresh and welcome as a blood red rose in the dead of winter.
The first cut is upbeat, as is the third song, "Leave The Light On," both chock-full of fun, infectious harmony that will no doubt become a Peimer trademark. Her four song self-titled EP is a hip blend of contemporary pop and soft rock that will have you humming in the shower for days. And yes, these wonderfully folksy songs will be reminiscent of the best of the legendary Indigo Girls, but with a twangy edge that is a welcome change from progressive alternarock that is still mourning grunge. "Leave The Light On" could be the Motel 6 theme song (I can almost hear Tom Bodell chiming in at the end with his trademark phrase), but it is more personal than commercial.
The entire EP has a certain smooth-as-taffy feel that comes off more professional than slick and the fact that there are two slow and two fast songs to sample is that much more delectable. The resulting composition is bewitching and entrancing without being the least bit whiny. As Peimer's lilting voice slides over various notes like she's honey coating each bar, listeners are drawn into her hauntingly achy world. Yeah, she gets sad sometimes, but this is one chanteuse who knows everything will be okay in the end. It's an optimistic message that hits home, even when all seems lost.
As she waxes poetic in "Leaving Here Tomorrow," Peimer's voice modestly makes its way into the piece, sounding a lot like Jewel, but with a little more oomph. On "Lullaby," Peimer's voice blends perfectly with the orchestral background, never bending from the weight of the beautiful background. It is the ideal way to cry out an old love or sway a small one to sleep for the night - an adult lullaby innocent and sweet.
Kudos to Peimer's accompanying musicians, Jefferson Thomas (acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin), Shelly Riff (keyboards), Larry Borlenghi (bass), Scott Miller (drums) and Yael Shacham (percussion), who manage to find a voice of their own without making a big deal of it. All meld into delightfully fresh melodies, lending themselves to one memorable musical collage.
CMJ New Music Report, January 25, 1999
Growing up in and around New York City doesn't seem to have hardened singer/songwriter Elisa Peimer. Her warm, personal songs display a decidedly non-cynical strength and confidence. The four tracks on this well-produced EP exemplify Peimer's wide range of moods, as they run the gamut from rootsy pop-rock to gentle ballads. Peimer's vocals and acoustic guitar are fleshed out by her backing band, yet her vocals command the most attention. Peimer's range and her display of emotion are impressive - her voice soars sweetly on "Before You Say Goodbye and it dips to an almost bluesy growl on "Leave The Light On." Regular gigs at hometown hot spots including Fez, Arlene Grocery and Mercury Lounge have already polished this performer's professional, radio-ready sound.
Good Times Magazine, November 17 - 30, 1998
Unfortunately, demo recordings are not always gone over with a fine tooth comb. New artist or engineers alike do not have the time or money to back a new band's demo like they do a "made" artist's new full length CD. Hence, the reactions and critiques most artists pine for are not usually what they encounter. Yet every one of the feels their music is the proverbial "it". For this reason it is always a pleasant surprise when a demo is worth a second and third listen.
Elisa Peimer's four song demo is worth a full length CD. Her voice is sad yet strong, her music is catchy yet melodic. The first song is an upbeat, soft rock tune about a woman trying to stop a guy from leaving. Without ever taking a downbeat, "Before You Say Goodbye" is a perfect selling track for radio airplay. The chorus sticks to your brain and goes with you for the rest of the day. If the critique of her demo had to stop right here, thumbs would be held high. It only gets better.
There are two ballads both with heavy piano or acoustic guitar in the mix. Although ballads are a dime a dozen and every band seems to feel the need to write one, the song "Lullaby," the final cut of the demo, releases a hormone that clams the soul. Her voice is beyond the sweetness of a chocolate covered cherry.
Utopian Forum, October 1998
Elisa has been a respected singer/songwriter in the New York area for 10 years, performing in many groups. She now forges her own path, offering an enticing collection of light hearted Adult Contemporary songs well suited for any one who loves Mature Music.