Eric Shroeder “Turned On The Stereo”

Enabler No. 6 Records, 2024

An album to be grateful for from an exciting young singer-songwriter.

Turned On The Stereo’ is Eric Schroeder’s fourth album in four years and he is…22.  And these are all albums of original songs.  Schroeder is someone to whom you pay attention. It will pay off. Not just because he’s prolific, but because he’s good. In fact, better than good.  At times, Schroeder seems like some guy sitting with a guitar on a frayed chenille bedspread in his room, a torn music poster taped to the wall. A lot of attitude. But, he can write and he can play and his songs aren’t just therapeutic for him, they are a gift to the rest of us. In any case, if Schroeder is in his bedroom, it would have to be a big one because he is accompanied by a great group of musicians.

Schroeder’s music has been affected by a broad spectrum of musicians and songwriters. Growing up in San Diego in Southern California he unsurprisingly acknowledges the influence of Brian Wilson. But he also names Neil Young, Elliott Smith, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Kurt Cobain, Billy Joe Shaver, Steve Stills, Jagger/Richards and Alex Chilton, among others.   His music reflects all of the above but he doesn’t imitate.  He has his own sound.  As he says, “I’d like to think that my music is a coagulation of my influences, but just as much uniquely mine.” 

The country influence comes through. Schroeder has said that this is mostly reflected in his own music in “the storytelling in the lyrics, my lead guitar playing, and that I try to stick mostly to playing open chords or ‘cowboy chords’.” True, but there is more than country in Schroeder’s songs. You can hear Americana, rock, punk and folk.  The album starts with ‘Stays the Same’ which sounds like Wilco and Billy Bragg’s ‘Mermaid Avenue’ with a bit of the Beach Boys. ‘Mother Said’  has a slightly reggae feel with a western vibe and good guitar work.  ‘The Wound that Never Heals’  reprises the Beatles.

Regardless of the musical influences, the lyrics are all Schroeder.  He is personal and direct, like a diary set to song. Many seem like love songs or songs where love comes and lingers, even through the pain.  His openness invites us into his world, and there we find echoes of our own.

Ultimately, this is a songwriter’s album. Schroeder said so himself when he remarked “some people are starting to recognize me as a proper songwriter. I’m not trying to be a guitar god. I’m not trying to sing like Freddie Mercury. What I am trying to do is go down as a bonafide songwriter. That’s where all of my effort goes…”I don’t care if five people love my records, or if 50,000 love my records, as long as I am recognized by those people for what I feel like I was put on Earth to do.”

We are grateful he was and he does.


About Michael Macy 49 Articles
Grew up in the American Midwest and bounced around a bit until settling in London. Wherever I've been, whatever I have done, has been to sound of Americana. It is a real privilege to be part of this site, discover new music and write about it.
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