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Rising Stars [Issue #24]
Jeremy Enigk: The Wait Is Over
By Dean Truitt
World Waits (CD Reincarnate)

With more than a decade since releasing the follow-up to his exceptional debut, Return of the Frog Queen, Jeremy Enigk christened his second effort, World Waits, which undoubtedly echoed the eager anticipation his loyal fans had undegone for what seemed an eternity.

Although World Waits is the Seattle resident’s first solo album in quite some time, Enigk has been anything but dormant. In the interim, the 32-year-old continued to lead his seminal indie band, Sunny Day Real Estate until the group disbanded in 2001, began a new project, The Fire Theft, contributed several songs to The United States of Leland’s soundtrack, and recently formed his own record label.

Known for his uncompromising loyalty to his own artistic and spiritual beliefs, Enigk realized that the only path for him to take that would allow him complete creative control of his material would be to start his own label, Lewis Hollow Recordings. While running the daily business can serve as a distraction from his artistic interests, Lewis Hollow allows him the luxury of releasing material he desires and overseeing its promotion and distribution. The Seattle resident reveals, “I’ve been on about three or four labels and none of them really worked out. It just seemed like the obvious and inevitable thing to do. It’s exciting to be liberated and have the ability to do whatever I want [artistically]. Plus, I get to call myself a president and CEO. That’s just kind of a fun title (laughs).”

While guiding the business side of his own career has divided his time, Enigk has realized yet another magnificent work with his latest album. True to form, the songwriter’s lyrical themes capture the inner struggles of life and wrestle with the concept of how to improve the human condition. The third track, “River to Sea,” explores the idea that being alive always carries a sense of hope to repair past mistakes. Enigk admits, “I wrote that song during a pretty intense time when I was going through a lot of changes. I was just reassessing my life and started to become a little bit more aware of myself in the world, opening up, and growing into my own skin. Ultimately, it’s just a song about how everyday you can live anew. Every day you wake up, you have the ability to change the things you don’t like. Every day is forgiveness; you can forgive yourself, you can forgive others, and move on. You can grow and learn from it. ‘River to Sea’ is just a metaphor for starting small, but then opening up into a bigger place. It’s sort of about opening the door and trying to let the human spirit that’s caged within you out and trying to embrace things.”

An interesting aspect about having material gather for ten years is that the situation allowed the artist to cull through songs he had written long ago and delve into them once again. Enigk found that much of his older material still resonated profoundly within his core beliefs. He reflects, “What I did for World Waits is just gathered as many songs as possible, even from songs I wrote about ten years ago, and just tried to record everything and in the end take the best ten. I do relate to those songs I wrote years ago. I’m more or less coming from the same place. I have grown and changed over the years and have different ideals and philosophies, but there are still subjects like ‘Burn’ and ‘Damien Dreams’ I can totally relate to. There are timeless things in my own life and hopefully others’ [lives].

On every level, the driving force behind Jeremy Enigk seems to be the desire to grow. If there is any constant his fans can expect from him in the future, it is change. He concludes, “I certainly don’t want to repeat myself and I always like to keep it fresh, not only for myself, but for other people.”

World Waits

The Wait Is Over Jeremy Enigk World Waits

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