Athens Musician’s Album Mixes Piano Pop, Melancholy Melodies

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Think piano pop with a soulful smudge of indie-blues and you have the sound of Michael Rinaldi-Eichenberg's clocksyellow#9, a 10-track ride of relationships gone wrong. 

Don’t let the dark theme fool you, though. This album is pleasantly all over the place, with songs like "You Know Him Too" and "Indigo" sporting upbeat, catchy harmonies.

"Waiting on Your Brown Eyes" is sensibly slow (it’s about longing for love), and then there’s "Grimaldi," a song about a clown who drinks himself to death.

"This is a collection of the best songs that I’ve written since the last time I recorded," said Rinaldi-Eichenberg, who has also released an album under the name Anonymous Hippopotamus. "Social issues motivated most of the writing."

The pianist/singer was joined by bassist Jesse Remnant of Southeast Engine and drummer Ricky Chilcott, with guest vocals from Tony Xenos, Troy Gregorino, Stacy Peters and Rachel Figley, who sings lead on the haunting "Golden Rule." The album was recorded by Josh Antonuccio at 3 Elliott Studio in Athens.

"The whole process took just 16 hours," said Rinaldi-Eichenberg. "That’s a really short recording time. Jesse and Ricky are awesome musicians."

Since Remnant is moving to Vermont, Rinaldi-Eichenberg decided to forgo an album-release party. He's currently without a band to support him on stage and has no plans to put one together. It was a tough decision, but he's throwing in the towel for now.

"It’s a shame I have to stop making music right after the album release," he said. "Music can be rewarding…it can also be hard. Before recording this, I was like, 'I have to give this a shot,' and I’m glad I did. Hopefully I’ll come back someday."

Until that day, listeners can enjoy clocksyellow#9, available for download at Michael Rinaldi-Eichenberg’s Bandcamp page.