Sometimes you don’t know where to begin with an album.
Eden Espinosa’s latest release, Revelation, causes just that problem. You see, each song is distinctly different, yet each one seamlessly flows with the next.
The album’s ten tracks converse with themselves. Every time I listen to this album in its entirety, I walk away with a different favorite song. Although once I start thinking of a particular song my mind links the piece to another song.
Revelation is built upon fear, vulnerability, and self-acceptance. Out of the record’s ten tracks, Espinosa wrote 8. She quickly proved that she has a distinct talent for crafting a lyric and to my surprise, these are the first songs she wrote.
So this album has tricked me and left me in quite the quarry. There was only one solution. I had to talk with Ms. Espinosa and have her explain this masterpiece.
This album is a vast departure from the style of your previous record, and very different than the form you use on stage. What inspired this style shift for you?
I’ve always had the desire to write songs. I was too afraid, to be honest. I was just afraid to try it and put myself out there. I heard an album of a friend of mine, and I just loved the production, and I loved the way it sounded. I asked her who produced it, and she put me in touch with the producer. I was talking to him about doing my second album, which I was planning to do like my first one, which was musical theater songs taken out of context to make them sound as if they were on the radio if you will.
Blaine Stark, the producer, is not from the theater world at all. He asked me, why don’t you do an album of originals? I said I’ve always wanted to and I have a lot of content written down. They’re not necessarily songs, but I do write a lot. He said why don’t you try writing and see what comes out of you and see if you like it. So that’s how I got started.
I contacted a few friends of mine who I know to be amazing songwriters and who I know would create a safe space for me to share my thoughts and my feelings. I just started dipping my toe into this art form.
That’s how this album came about. It was a beautiful collaboration with the producer Blaine and I and the songwriters and me too.
What is the inspiration behind Revelation? I feel like it is a break-up album mixed with self-discovery.
Yeah. I think that this is a little bit of both even though some of the songs that sound like they’re about a man, a significant other, or a breakup, are actually about fear. You know, that negative side of your mind or personality — that self-sabotaging place, which I’ve struggled with a whole lot.
I did go through some heartache recently, so some of the songs are coming from that place. I know that “Deadly Sin” originally was written about that dark fear, self-sabotaging place. I wrote “Master of my Life” about fear and taking control…That one’s about fear just trying to take over, and then you reclaiming your power.
Some of them can be taken as love songs or break up songs, but a lot of them are about me and breaking up with the negative habits or negative voices in my mind. It is indeed both; it’s a lot of layers I guess.
The songs flow flawlessly. What can you say about the order of the songs?
The order was super important to me, and I actually left that to Blaine. I felt I was too close to the songs and a lot of them had been written a while ago. I had kind of moved past where I was when I wrote the songs, and it was hard for me to be objective because I started to judge the material, you know what I mean?
I started to be like, “This song is dumb.” There were so many times that I wanted to cut several songs that I had written long ago and I didn’t feel that way anymore. So I told Blaine I need you to do the order. I made one change to the order that he originally made and then “Fireworks and Stars” was a very last minute song. We added it on the very last day of recording.
So that was an afterthought. It was the most recent song I wrote, and it is from a completely different perspective than the rest of the album. But we knew that once I wrote it and once I heard what was going to be done with it, we knew that we wanted it to be the last song.
What are the messages you want to convey with Revelation? What message do you want listeners to walk away with?
Over the past few years and just personally in my life and then in writing this album there were several revelations. I knew I wanted the title of it to be a word encompassing the entire journey not only artistically, but emotionally and spiritually. I think the big revelation that I want people to have and be left with is that you are the most important thing and not in a selfish way. You have to take care of yourself and not lose yourself or choose somebody else to know your worth…We can’t completely give to somebody else until you know that you are a king or queen, you know.
I think it’s about self-worth. I want people to leave with finding their self-worth and their self-value and not to compromise that for anything or anyone.
Why did it take seven years between your two albums?
It had to do a lot with personal stuff… and fortunately, I kept getting work. A lot of people in my position who started in theater and musical theater – once they start writing songs, think I want to be a singer/songwriter now, and I want this is my music, they’ll decide to leave musical theater for a while and take a break and pursue music. I always wanted to do both equally.
I wasn’t in the position to turn down work to just focus on the album. And so it had to be done in little spurts. It took way longer than I anticipated but in hindsight looking back I didn’t know that it was supposed to be that way for me to find the strength, the freedom and the courage to write and to share with people my point of view and my perspective and my feelings.
And here’s a few just for fun…
If you could collaborate with anybody musically who would it be?
It’d probably be Jeff Buckley, who’s no longer with us, or Eva Cassidy.
When you are in the studio, or you are performing what are your necessities?
I’m very big into lighting. If it’s not the right lighting, it’s going to affect my mood. I like candles, and in a dressing room, I need my essential oil diffuser or a humidifier.
Which Spice Girl would you be and why?
I’d be Scary or Sporty. I just liked their attitudes. I think they were both fun, but confident. They both stuck out to me. It is a tie between Scary or Sporty; Scary’s style but Sporty’s voice.
As I looked over the transcript of this interview and listened to Revelation again, I realized why I am at such a loss for words.
Revelation lives and breathes. It may sound strange, but Espinosa’s vocal stylings mixed with her vulnerability are simply relevant. No matter your situation in life, this album can, and will, speak to you. Espinosa is a real singer who can hit any high note, yet she is also a real artist who can dig into emotions you didn’t even know you had. That’s a lethal combination for any listener.