Russ Erikson is the musical project of Kennan Banks, a singer-songwriter from the Charlotte, NC area. Russ Erikson’s 2016 Demos is a 6 track indie-folk EP released in early April 2016. They were all recorded in one take on Kennan’s iPhone. The lyrics, vocals, and acoustic melodies accompanying them mirror the way they were created: raw. In the most beautiful way.
Kennan says, “I’m really into music that is really personal. It’s sort of therapy for me. I would still make the same stuff I’m making and put it out there even if no one was listening.” But people should be listening. You can hear the heart Kennan puts into his music, like in the lyrics on the stand out track “When I was Young”:
“I’m on the Brooklyn Bridge and I’m looking down/ I would never jump but I get the appeal.”
His music is so personal and emotionally charged. You can hear it in his voice. The EP includes some covers, but the originals (“I Am a Father,” “When I Was Young”) are the biggest standout tracks. The emotion Kennan puts into his music bleeds out and infects the listener, urging them to feel or understand what he is saying. And that—along with Kennan’s obvious lyrical and musical talent—are what make Russ Erikson great.
After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in film, Kennan adopted the name Russ Erikson (inspired by his middle name and the explorer Leif Erikson) to separate his music from his film, since he says his music is “so personal” to him. Kennan says that once he gets around 10 songs he’s really proud of, he will record them professionally and make an album.
Check out Russ Erikson Bandcamp above and be on the look out for new music from the up-and-comer.
This was first published on Next2Shine.