ROCK EUPORA ANNOUNCES NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM
ROCK EUPORA SET FOR RELEASE AUGUST 3, 2018
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1. Real (0:00)
2. It's Gonna Get Better (2:04)
3. All I Need (4:55)
4. I Love You So Much (8:22)
5. You're at the Beach (11:47)
6. Night Terrors (14:29)
7. Sun (19:49)
8. Inbetween (23:44)
9. Slave to the Sound (27:37)
10. People in my Head (30:51)
11. Eternity (33:40)
12. In the Morning (36:44)
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Written, performed, and produced by Clayton Waller. Engineered and mixed by Dylan Alldredge at Skinny Elephant Recording. Mastered by John Baldwin. Artwork by Mark Slawson.
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Clayton Waller, the front man and creative force driving southern indie rock band Rock Eupora, hasn’t stopped for a second since leaving his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi for Nashville. With two albums previously released, his new self-titled record, and an impressive touring schedule, Waller has positioned himself as an artist to watch in the Nashville alternative scene.
The lead single from Rock Eupora (self-released), “It’s Gonna Get Better,” is an appeal by Waller for himself—and anyone else listening—to push through the temptation to become isolated when life feels like a fight that can’t be won. Layers of hook-laden guitar and an energetic rhythm lift the song; by the end, following Waller’s instructions to “hold your head up high” seems easier than before.
“Real,” the opening track, is immediately captivating. Drawing on Rock Eupora's signature fuzz pop sound, “Real” polishes that style and indicates a project that has moved into more advanced territory. Fully written, performed, and produced by Waller himself, Rock Eupora is a stunning successor to 2016’s Soon the Sun Will Come, which earned favorable press from outlets such as Nashville Scene and PureVolume.
The decision to make the new album gapless was clear from the beginning for Waller. “I really love the album format. To me, songs in an album make sense like chapters in a book. I like the idea of multiple parts flowing together as one idea.”
That motivation results in Rock Eupora’s most cohesive album yet, both thematically and musically. As a whole, the album tells the story of a young person working through the growing pains of love, trust, and insecurity. Singles reveal themselves throughout the album, like “Inbetween.” A bright, shimmering indie rock tune with the notion of being lost at sea embodies a familiar feeling as Waller sings, “I can’t shake feeling that I don’t belong to anywhere or anything.”
“I Love You So Much” is so endearing, it nearly disguises the complex emotion of lyrics such as, “I am scared that I would slowly grow to loathe you and vice versa, so I must bid you adieu.” It proves that neither substance nor form are sacrificed on Rock Eupora. Instead, they work together to form a catchy and meaningful take on self-doubt. “People In My Head,” however, is the stand against negativity that Waller needs to take. Fully charged, heavily distorted—it’s the kind of pure rock that feels almost anthemic.
In a live setting, Rock Eupora materializes as a full band for an experience that Waller describes as “lots of transitions and little downtime … It's definitely a high-energy rock show.” Just like the album, Waller’s aim is to make every second of his time purposeful; there’s no room for complacency. A recent successful tour of the east coast proves that people are starting to take notice of the up-and-coming band. Waller has plans to embark on a west coast tour following the release of Rock Eupora.
It’s only a matter of time until Rock Eupora is captivating large audiences nationwide.
Creative and surprising in the best ways, Rock Eupora is an album that will set Waller up for a long, fruitful career as a musician and songwriter. His perspective on art is refreshing—reflective of his belief that, “In the end, life does not revolve around me—and strangely, that's a beautiful and freeing feeling.” Within that freedom, we can rest assured that this is only the beginning for Rock Eupora.
“I don’t know how I’m supposed to be real.”
This confession is how Clayton Waller, the creative force behind Nashville-via-Mississippi band Rock Eupora, opens his self-titled album. And a force he is—with two albums under his belt already and an established position in the local indie rock scene, Waller has developed Rock Eupora’s sound into a perfect blend of punchy guitars and unforgettable melodies. Rock Eupora, set for release on August 3rd, contends with the challenges of a 20-something-year-old searching for his place in the world.
“The new record is very personal. I put so much into these songs. I think I have a tendency to care too much sometimes. But my goal is not to become ‘famous’ or reach a certain level of success – I know I will never be satisfied in that sense. Because of that, I am free to just make art and enjoy it,” Waller explains.
Rock Eupora is simultaneously Waller’s most cohesive and sonically daring project to date.
Recorded in a professional studio as opposed to his typical DIY approach, the change in setting allows the depth of detail in each track to be fully appreciated. Seamless transitions weave the songs together in what resembles a stream of creative consciousness — yet, every song tells a story strong enough to stand on its own. Slight eighties influences and what Waller describes as “psychedelic tendencies” make Rock Eupora a well-developed follow up to 2016’s Soon the Sun Will Come. As is custom for Rock Eupora, the entire album was written, performed, and produced by Waller himself.
“Songs will initially exist in my head, then in my iPhone memos. Once the songs are more fully flushed out, I'll record them in my home studio. From there, I usually pick a batch of songs from the demos, polish them up, and then send them off for mixing and mastering. But for this album, I re-recorded the final batch of songs in a ‘real’ studio. I picked 12 songs from the 29 that I recorded at my house and cut them at Skinny Elephant, my friend Dylan Alldredge's studio in east Nashville. I usually have a pretty clear idea of how I want a song to turn out, so producing is almost subconscious for me.”
Commitment to his craft is what has carried Rock Eupora this far, garnering attention from venerable local media such as Nashville Scene and national outlets like PureVolume. It is evident that Waller really believes every word he’s singing, making it easy for listeners to believe, too. This sincerity is what gives Rock Eupora the ability to connect with people of varying ages and backgrounds, a gift that doesn’t come naturally to all artists.
It doesn’t hurt that Rock Eupora comes to life as a full band for live performances, either. Waller and his bandmates clearly feed off each other’s energy to create an action packed rock show. “I think it’s safe to say we’re a lot heavier live than you might think… I usually end up on the ground,” Waller jokes.
Rock Eupora’s future looks clearer than ever, despite the confrontation of love, trust, and insecurity the new record embodies. With a collection of songs that feels familiar and surprising all at once, it’s only a matter of time until Rock Eupora is a staple name for indie rock listeners everywhere.
“I definitely have chilled out a lot since embarking on my musical journey. In the end, life does not revolve around me – and strangely, that's a beautiful and freeing feeling.”
Maybe he’s got being real figured out after all.
SELECTED PREVIOUS PRESS:
“Rock Eupora’s self-proclaimed fuzz pop is on full display here, showcasing a songwriter with a bright future.”
“Rock Eupora brings some Southern brewed big time pop made for the big stages.”
“On ‘Soon the Sun Will Come’, he certainly makes a case for his claim to the South’s much storied indie-pop legacy. Bright and infectious, ‘Soon the Sun Will Come’ is so easy on the ears that it takes a while to notice the depth of Waller’s craftmanship.”