It’s not surprising that Ethan Gold, a native son of San Francisco, would have a strange relationship with the New Age. Raised in the hangover that followed free love, when the family unit was trampled by baby boomers stumbling their way through history, Gold’s father is Beat-adjunct writer Herbert Gold, and his mother Melissa was killed in a helicopter with her boyfriend, the legendary rock promoter Bill Graham. For Ethan, the escape was always into the messages in dreams, which he interpreted as straight from the source of all things, and with whom he was writing songs before he taught himself to play.
While living in a collapsing building in Los Angeles, Gold first stepped into the public consciousness when he produced and arranged Elvis Perkins’ blog-hyped stunner Ash Wednesday. While moonlighting as bass player and resident musician in his brother Ari’s celebrity-driven folk party band the Honey Brothers, with Entourage star Adrian Grenier on drums, and also scoring his twin’s debut film Adventures of Power, Ethan continued honing his intensely private musical vision, eventually self-releasing (in America) his debut art rock album Songs From A Toxic Apartment to underground acclaim (“Emotions delivered with an unfiltered, glaring legibility”- Pitchfork; “The most interesting record I’ve listened to in the past 5 years.”- Rock N Roll Experience.) He then began rolling out a series of videos from the album which showcased a visceral approach to storytelling, which eventually led him to side work as an independent video director.
While working on his next film score in New York, Ethan fell in a freak accident and received a significant head injury. Losing the ability to speak and to do complex tasks like sound engineering, during his convalescence his songwriting pace only increased. He also found himself returning to his childhood influences, and being re-inspired by the futuristic sounds that were his refuge in post-hippie San Francisco. He dug up an album of “synthstrumental paintings” from high school, and completed a collection from live covers he’d released on YouTube of some of his favorite songs, from New Order and Bauhaus to the musical Hair. He played bass with San Francisco literary rockers The Size Queens, and finished the haunting score to the upcoming The Song of Sway Lake with his songs being sung by John Grant and the Staves.
Most excitingly, underneath all this side activity Ethan has been secretly developing an alternate identity as the leader of VYPRZ, a synth pop band with a cast of hand-picked guests from around the planet as well as from his adopted home in the culturally vibrant new Los Angeles. “If Ethan Gold will be the shield, Vyprz will be the sword.” It’s steely, high-energy 1983 futurism mixed with a very current message of spiritual renewal. “New Age New Wave” as he cheekily calls it.
And along the way, Ethan has been creating his follow-up to Songs From a Toxic Apartment, the multipart epic The City Earth, using songs old and new, including his sleeper evergreen romantic political “Our Love is Beautiful,” which racked up millions of views on illegal fan uploads and cover versions on YouTube. Ethan recently went round the globe filming people with a phone as the only crew, filming people speaking the words of the song, which along with fan-submitted footage will be the official video – an inclusive love letter to the world. While his debut was intensely personal, The City Earth is decidedly populist. But rather than the populism of fear, it’s a sweeping call for sensitivity in a world gone brutal, and a channeled reflection of humanity’s longing for love and warmth in the urban grid of endless megalopolis, and for re-connection with our vast nature.