“Altronipop.” Good name! Hannah Smith a.k.a. Eitch (pronounced ‘H’) offers a unique take on all that we find intriguing and captivating about music, and puts her own spin on things to keep the music and vibe fresh. Eitch appears inspired by the curious nature of youth, but with the intelligence and forethought of a storied elder.
You can scoop up a copy of her new EP, Health, RIGHT HERE for free, so I suggest you do so. I caught up with Eitch via email to get an introduction to her work, how her project and vision came to fruition, and what us newbies to her style and sound should expect when we see her perform live.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Introduce yourself to us… Who are you, where do you call home, and what do you do?
E- Hey there, thank you! I’m a music producer, singer, and performer who goes by the name Eitch (pronounced “H”). I was born and raised in New York, but am now calling San Francisco home.
G- How long have you been around and actively performing, and when did you first get started? Do you remember the moment that you really felt music as your calling?
E- I’ve always been performing ever since I was little, whether in school plays or acting in pretend showcases with my friends. I started producing music 8 years ago in my mom’s basement, which started as a means to express myself. I didn’t think too much about it, I just did it because I loved it. Then I became more conscious of it being my soul’s calling and something I wanted to commit myself to probably around 5 years ago, when I was given a gift for Christmas to have 2 of my songs mixed by a good family friend who was a great engineer, and we ended up mixing my first entire record together, ‘Everything, Nothing’. It was in that process that I discovered the earliest embodiment of Eitch and realized my potential.
G- Can you tell us about the recording process for your newest EP ‘Health’? Where did you record it, who was behind the boards this time around, and how long did the release take to record and get ready for release?
E- I write and produce everything from home. The EP was mixed with my dear friend Ian Stewart in his studio in Connecticut. I love working with Ian, he really understands my sound and we’ve built such a solid music relationship these last 2 years. I know I’m in great hands when I need a track to be mixed on the fly, or when I have a technical question about basically anything; he’s got the solution.
G- What should your fans, both old and new, expect of the performances when you hit the road? What should some of the first time listeners expect to see when you take the stage?
E- The music is electronic in its essence, but the performance is theatrical and storytelling at its finest. I use my shows as a means to explore my own wonders about the world, and I want to create a safe space for others to get curious and self reflect. The music is just the vehicle for getting there! It’s a ride every time.
G- 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!
E- 1) Outputmessage’s Nebulae because I’ve been listening to it for years and it never gets old. I’ve also loved watching the progression of knowing him purely as an instrumental producer, to seeing his resurgence as this dance machine vocalist. His ability to transform and not be scared to try new things as an artist is very admirable.
2) Buke and Gase’s (previously Buke and Gass) album Riposte. They’re definitely one of my favorite bands hands down. Their songwriting is killer –it twists and turns, grabs hold of your psyche– and Arone’s voice is a mixture of power and grace. Plus they make their own instruments from hand.
3) Geotic’s Bless The Self has lifted my spirit even in the darkest of times. I go to that EP to regain peace of mind or when I want to cleanse myself of undesired energy. It’s sounds like the most beautiful rainfall after a storm.
4) Underworld’s Beaucoup Fish. I was turned onto this album by Ian, and I seriously can’t get enough of it. We listened to it like 10 times on our way to and from Wakarusa Music Festival. It’s just so good, and being that it was released in 1999 makes me appreciate it that much more.
G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
E- I don’t hold any one of my song’s as “the” absolute favorite, but I remember feeling really accomplished after writing Sun and Moon. And right now I enjoy showing people Wash Them All With Love who have never heard of me before.
G- Are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future?
E- Plenty. Where to start…Random Rab, Ghostland Observatory, CocoRosie, Baths, Atoms for Peace, Little Dragon, The Knife, just to name a few.
G- Lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
E- Never give up no matter what. If you’ve got something inside you that needs to come out, an art form paired with a deep love that truly aligns with your heart, commit yourself to it and let the journey begin. There will be ups and there will be downs. It’s what you make of it and how you pick yourself back up that will determine where you end up next…and that goes for anything. Believe in yourself fully and don’t forget to have fun and count your blessings every once in a while. Somebody, somewhere believes in you. Hey, I do 🙂