A born and bred New Yorker, Eli Greenhoe has harbored an affinity for music in the folk tradition crafted by songwriters beyond the city streets. While attending LaGuardia High School, Greenhoe would begin writing songs that now have gone on to comprise his proper debut, This Time When It Rained. Impose Magazine is happy to be premiering the album’s latest single, “Snowbound.”
Following “Public Eye” and “Katie’s Song,” “Snowbound” is a dark folk epic that swells brilliantly with Greenhoe’s timbre and artfully deployed horns leading the way.
To celebrate the release of “Snowbound,” we had Eli Greenhoe share with us five things that inspired the forthcoming album. Check it all out below and be sure to listen to “Snowbound” below or wherever you may listen.
Odetta – Battle Hymn of the Republic
This, I think, is one of the best recordings ever made. Odetta sounds like (because she is) a god, and the group of singers backing her up are 100% committed and outstandingly tight as an ensemble. The result is pure magic. My music tends toward big energy and intensity, and has a lot of peaks and valleys. Whenever I need to figure out how to pace a big crescendo in something I’m writing, I think back to the absolutely beautiful, inexorable build that runs through this recording. Also, “Battle Hymn” is just one of the best songs ever written. What more could you ask for?
I didn’t really have a choice in this inspiration – my mother used to read me Dylan Thomas before bed when I was young. I think if there’s any one writer whose use of language has shaped how I put words together, it’s him. Also, what a voice.
D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths
My songs frequently reference legends and apocryphal stories from classical antiquity. There are a lot of sources I could point to that would explain why I keep returning back to images and scenarios from the ancient world, but I think this is the book that first ignited my fascination with that time period. We had a copy floating around our house when I was little, and I used to love to read it. I especially loved all the ways the gods in the Greek Pantheon would interact, and how those interactions were used to explain away otherwise (at the time) incomprehensible natural phenomena. I wasn’t brought up religious, at least in any traditional sense, and I think this book did a great deal to affect how I look at entropy, faith, and storytelling.
Even though I grew up primarily in Brooklyn, a lot of my extended family lives in southern Vermont and I spent about a quarter of the year there each year between when I was born and when I was about 17. Maybe it’s a bit obvious to say that an album is inspired by a place you’re from, but I think a lot of the songs on this record take aesthetic direction from the simultaneously expansive and incredibly nuanced landscape of that part of the world.
Prine is probably my favorite songwriter, or at least the one I’ve loved for the longest. I was listening to his music a lot when I started recording this album in the fall of 2017. His songs are unabashedly brilliant and have gotten me through a lot of hard times, so thanks, John.