JD Eicher—singer-songwriter for JD Eicher & the Goodnights—has kept a secret hidden in his band’s previous two albums. But after four years, he divulges it with the quartet’s third album, the pop-rock effort INTO PLACE.
“This is the third in a trilogy,” he reveals. “The first album was called THE SHAPE OF THINGS, the second was SHIFTING, and this new one is called INTO PLACE.” Taken as a whole, the trilogy titles spell out: THE SHAPE OF THINGS SHIFTING INTO PLACE. Each installment has its own theme that ties into an overarching concept. THE SHAPE OF THINGS’s theme was life’s cyclicality; SHIFTINGwas a tumultuous, introspective journey through change, represented by the album’s shifting genres, musical motifs, and lyrical themes; and INTO PLACE’s poise represents a coming of age, comfort in who you are. “The main developing themes that tie these three together are love, hope, and acceptance,” Eicher says.
JD Eicher & the Goodnights’ soaring and graceful pop-rock songcraft has garnered the group favorable comparisons to Coldplay, Keane, The Script, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. The Pittsburgh, PA and Youngstown, OH-based quartet has received an impressive outpouring of regional acclaim, earning raves from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Uniontown, PA Herald-Standard, Pittsburgh City Paper, and The Erie Times-News. Nationally, Alternative Addiction named them one of the top 10 unsigned bands. Virgin America Airlines used one of the band’s songs in the teaser for the airline’s movie Departure Date.
The band is JD Eicher (vocals/guitar), Ben Portz (keys), Jim Merhaut (bass), and Dylan Kollat (drums/percussion). Live, JD Eicher & the Goodnights has shared a bill with such diverse and respected artists as the Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Hot Chelle Rae, Pete Yorn, Anberlin, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Cartel, and Matt White, among many others. Frontman JD Eicher has also done acoustic solo dates, most recently with Charlie Oxford and Joy Ike.
INTO PLACE is both adventurous and assured. The songs are tastefully layered with otherworldly electronic ambiance and programmed drums. “Ode To Underdog” is sunny modern rock with a hypnotic acoustic guitar groove that surges expansively with chiming guitars and imaginatively arranged twists and turns. The undeniable “Give It Up” balances smoky, soulful sections with portions that rocket to euphoric highs, showcasing Eicher’s blue-eyed soul falsetto.
Lyrically, the overall theme is celebrating inner serenity. “A lot of these songs are about finding peace where you are, while hopefully not sounding like sermons!” he says, laughing. Lightening up the mood is “You’ve Got A Lot Of Growing Up To Do.” Here Eicher makes hilarious call-outs like, “To the cop who gave me a ticket then passed me later at 85,” rattling off things people do that annoy all of us.
Grammy-nominated producer Dustin Burnett (who has worked with the Newsboys, Augustana, Rush of Fools, Moriah Peters, Darling Parade) produced Into Place, guiding Eicher in realizing his aspirations for a rich sonic tapestry to enhance the core band’s stellar musicianship.
There is a feeling of culmination in the air as JD Eicher & the Goodnights releases this third installment of the trilogy. “Recently there have been some special moments onstage when we’ve been playing festivals," he says "We look out at all the people and then at each other and feel so grateful.” For JD Eicher & the Goodnights, shapes are indeed shifting into place.