Smile Politely

Euriah moves with momentum on new LP Passenger

In the same vein as other emo artists such as Title Fight, Into It. Over It., and You Blew It!, Euriah, a four-piece act from Champaign, proudly carries a lot of weight on their shoulders in their music and lyrics. Although they are inspired by acts that hail from the underground days all the way to the latest revival period, make no mistake about it: this LP is distinctly Euriah, a fresh sound that resonates with power and poignancy, proving that this band is here to stay.


Before listening to Passenger, I felt as if I had a grasp on what the genre “emo” constituted. Two of my favorite bands growing up were My Chemical Romance and Coheed and Cambria, both of which have had the “emo” label tagged on them for a few of their records. It wasn’t until I was doing more extensive research on the genre and on Euriah that I realized what the term meant when properly characterized. From this new perspective, emo essentially takes part from the word “emotion” – therefore the music and lyrics all originate from a personal and impassioned place. Euriah embraces this sentiment on Passenger, creating in effect one of the more captivating records we have heard this year.

Euriah, by Veronica Mullen.

Musically, this album is immense. The quartet devises a sound that is filled with substance and emits purpose, all while being unpredictable at the same time and only using bass, guitars, drums, and vocals. The title track perfectly set the tone for me, transmitting haunting melodies that build as one section carries over to the next, and as soon as the title track’s line  “on the passenger’s side/of the floor of my car” was unleashed, I became captured by the music. 

“On the passenger’s side of the floor of my car I keep the letter you wrote. Your indirect approach to asking for more. You know I know you by now.”

From title track “Passenger”

Large, open, and distorted chords are accompanied by unique drum patterns, creating a distinctive sound that can be truly categorized as Euriah. Power is found not just in the mammoth-sized chords, but also in the album’s lyrics. Frontman Eric Stanley has penned some of the most heartfelt words that I have heard in quite some time, all of them clearly coming from a very personal place. Like the sound of the instruments, these lyrics are raw, but not in a way that suggests inexperience. Rather, they convey tenderness that feels inviting rather than disenchanting, which in turn provided one of the most compelling vocal performances that I have heard in years. It is clear that these words were probably not the easiest to set free, but hearing them on this record was a resolute declaration of just how powerful and gratifying music can be for so many people.

 The only real drawback that I found on the LP was that at times, the vocals, whether they were lead or background harmonies, would get lost in the powerful distortion of the guitars. There were a couple of instances where I would have to really listen carefully as to what words were being sung, but I would say that this is only a minor flaw, and should not be considered a major detriment to an otherwise steady album.

When listening to a new album becomes an experience rather than a routine, you know that you have discovered something truly special. Passenger is an immense achievement for both Euriah and the genre of emo, and is not to be missed by anyone in the Champaign-Urbana community.


Euriah will release Passenger on Friday, August 19th, through their bandcamp. They will also be hosting an album release show the following evening: Euriah will be playing with Tara Terra at The Accord on Saturday, August 20th, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

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