As a northwestern Ontario ex-pat living in Toronto, singer/songwriter Erik Bleich seeks to find a place between what can sometime feel like opposing worlds. His genre blending work, though rooted in the classic pop and folk traditions he was brought up in, can be viewed as a reflection of the varying communities working side by side in his adopted home. From street lit lullabies to manic, rambling romps, Bleich and his band build expansive soundscapes to frame his often-photographic meditations of Canadians seeking identity and autonomy in an increasingly global community. It’s his vision of folk music for the Internet Age.
Inspired by the elements he began to explore in his sprawling, debut LP invisible vehicles, Bleich has spent the last half decade honing his craft and building a loyal fan base. In early 2014, he and fellow songwriter Carl Lorusso Jr began their monthly Third Thursdays residency at Graffiti’s bar in Kensington Market. It is there that Bleich has really come into his own with the addition of the musicians that make up his current band. The dynamic group builds on Bleich's eclectic notions, with multi-instrumentalist Tristan Murphy (Meeko Cheech), and violinist Cassie Norton (Vlesie) giving voice to the cinematic elements of Eastern European folk, chamber pop and alt-country infused in Bleich’s writing.
Currently in the studio, working on their first album as a group, Erik Bleich continues to perform every month at Graffiti’s, and beyond…
Photograph by Ken Dobb.