E.C. Beats

Editor reflects on time exploring the sound of local artists

Story by Sydney Purpora, Currents Editor

Moving to a new city for the first time is hard for most; for me, it was a culture shock.

Coming from the small town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, I grew up going to downtown festivals, driving to the neighboring town to rent a movie and knowing way too much about the families in the area. So when I first arrived in Eau Claire, I was in awe of how musically driven the community is.

For those of you who have been reading my column on a weekly basis, you have seen firsthand my experiences with the music emanating from the city of Eau Claire.

Throughout this musical journey, I have learned a lot about the sound of local artists, from how they got into it to where they draw their inspiration from to how they came up with their group’s name.

Starting my exploration with folk Americana artist Jerrika Mighelle and hearing her touching story on how music has been there beside her, helping her along through the good and bad times of her life, opened my eyes to a new way to consume it.

I would have said music is a big part of my life, but I never knew what it sounded like from the other end. My whole view of music was only from the listener’s perspective and how I felt. I was shown how fluid music can be between the creator and the listener.

As I went from band to band, taking in their musical histories as groups and as individuals, I was taught how to appreciate music on a new level. As each group’s story began to unravel, they explained to me how the words they sing are crafted from their own emotions, their own experiences and they tell it through song.

After the first few interviews I found many artists craft a narrative not only within each song itself, but also in each album they curate.

In addition to my newfound appreciation for what I was hearing, I also was given the chance to meet talented musicians and artists performing music I don’t normally listen to. I interviewed groups from a plethora of musical genres, like folk Americana, rock/alternative metal, electro-pop and gospel hip-hop, but I only grazed the surface of the world of music.

This experience exposed me to lyrics, beats and melodies I hadn’t heard before. For example, I normally don’t find myself searching metal or rock music on Spotify, but after learning more about the work behind each piece from bands like My Memory Remains, I do. Now, I am more open-minded to adding other music to my playlists.

The reporting I have done for this column allowed me to dig deeper into a subject I enjoy in a city I am exploring every day. Although they might perform different genres and sing about different experiences, I learned they all have the same love for music.

When I look back at the pieces I have written and the Eau Claire bands I have met, I am grateful for the chance to share their stories through a different medium because every story deserves to be shared.