By opening his heart and reflecting on pivotal moments in his life, Eli Lieb has created a beautifully introspective record. His new album ‘The Nights We Lived’ ticks all the boxes!
From the confessional ‘Fall For You’ to the glorious ‘Hollywood’ remix, each track warrants its place on the album. Eli empowers his listeners with impassioned vocals and sincere lyrics throughout.
All thirteen songs on ‘The Nights We Lived’ were written and produced in their entirety by Eli Lieb. That, in itself, shows how talented the handsome singer is. His virtuosity knows no bounds.
To help fans get a deeper understanding, Eli has exclusively revealed to us the stories behind the songs. His track-by-track guide provides a unique insight into how the record was created.
Without further ado, we’ll let Eli talk you through the album in his own words…
When I sit down to make music for myself, I rarely have a specific goal in mind. I don’t think, “Ok, I’m starting my album now”, or “I want to make this specific kind of song”. I really just focus on being as open to the creative channels and let them come through however they want. Usually a song, or collection of songs begin to develop. It truly feels like a form of channelling to me. ‘The Nights We Lived’ is the result of this process. I wrote and recorded all these songs over the past year and a half, directly after my move away from Los Angeles. I think I was so unhappy living there, that the second I left and focused on being happy again, I opened up those creative channels and cleared all the muck that had been building up. The songs just poured out of me. I wrote and produced the whole album by myself, which allowed the most authentic and pure form of me to be captured. Every single word, sound, bleep you hear comes from me. It must be noted that my album was masterfully mixed by Paul David Hager, who mixed Miley Cyrus’ ‘Bangerz’, Troye Sivan, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, among many others. He is amazing and helped make my songs really come to life. And it was mastered by Emily Lazar, who masters Sia, Coldplay, Chainsmokers, HAIM, Tegan and Sara, just to name a few.
Everything that I sing about on the album takes place over the last couple years of my life, with the exception of the title track, which is more of a life retrospective.
1. Fall For You
This song is about someone I was involved with off and on during my time living in LA. The opening line, “I remember when we met drunk outside that bar” is very literal. We met at the very end of the night, drunk standing outside of a bar. We developed a great friendship and seemed to always be in the limbo state of being together or being friends. We would date, break up, be friends, and get back together. I always felt like when we were dating, we would drift apart, which is so tragic about the whole situation. When you decide to be together, you would hope that you would become closer. We don’t talk anymore but looking back at it, I would do it all again. We had such a close friendship and I really fell for him over the years. That feeling of falling for someone that you truly care about is really rare and can add so much to your life. The timing was off for us but I only look back with love.
2. Round And Round
This is actually one of the rare songs I wrote that really just came out of me, not necessarily referencing a specific situation or person. If I listen to it, I can’t say it’s about one person in particular, as much as I feel like it’s an accumulation of something I’ve been in so many times. When you are with someone where it’s this cycle of being up and down, in and out with them and you just can’t break that rhythm, all the while becoming more in love, more entwined together. And I think that it’s really when you are physical with each other that everything goes out the window. All logic just goes bye bye. It’s so hard to get out of that entanglement.
3. Until You’ve Fallen Down
Our world in the past couple of years has had so much turmoil. There is so much lying, corruption, and anger right now that you can feel it in the air. It seems like everything is falling apart and people are losing their minds. I myself was trying to find ways to remain hopeful and sane, and came up with this song as an anthem just for that. The opening line, “I’ve seen the darkest kind of night, where you can’t even see the sky. I’ve walked these streets a million times, blindfolded looking for a sign”, is referring to a time in my life where I was truly lost. I remember it being so dark and in that moment I couldn’t ever imagine getting out of it. But my desire for the light became stronger and I started to piece myself back together and eventually found the light and became the biggest, strongest version of myself. But it was a process and something I had to go through. But now I see its great purpose and it has made me who I am today. Hopefully we can look at what’s going on in the world currently as an opportunity to rebuild it as a better, stronger version of what we’ve known.
“You can’t strike lightning without a thunderstorm. You can’t rush night’s end waiting on the new dawn. If you’re lost, you will be found. Sometimes you can’t get up until you’ve fallen down”.
4. Kissing Your Tattoos
I’m a hopeless romantic. I always enter every dating situation with the thought, “maybe this could be the one!”. There is always that moment of wonder. The song opens with, “Don’t know if it’s love or just a fling”. Very quickly however, I can see if the person is NOT the one. Cut to, “Yeah I think it’s just a one night thing, sorry if you wanted more from me”. I have had the realization that this person and I do not fit on a deeper level but we are still enjoying each other on a more superficial level, and it just becomes a one night thing. So I guess you could say this song is about a one night stand.
5. When You Need A Friend
Last summer, a 14 year old transgendered boy from my hometown took his own life. I didn’t know him personally but he worked in the local grocery store and would always bag my groceries. He was so joyful and happy seeming, and I was so excited for him and his future. He had such a bright light. So when I found out what happened, I was really shocked and upset. I wished that he knew if he needed someone to talk to, if he needed a friend, that I would have been that for him. I wanted to write a song for him, and a song that anyone else who is silently or not silently suffering could listen to and feel hope. The chorus simply says “When you need a friend, I will be your friend”. I really want people to feel that, even if I don’t know you personally. Anything involving my name is a safe and supportive place – my Instagram, Twitter, etc. Anyone who needs a friend, I am there for you.
6. Next To You
This song is about the same person as in ‘Fall For You’, but less about remembering how it all was, and more about the end. I felt like he would run and hide from the situation, and all I wanted was to be close. Sometimes you are willing to overlook so much just to have that person next to you, even when you know they aren’t telling you the truth. The line “I’ll put you underneath a black light, seeing the stains of your dirty lies” is my way of saying, I knew what was really going on at the time.
7. Shangri La
I was involved with someone that I really shouldn’t have been. Mentally, I knew this, but when we were around each other, something came over me that I quite literally couldn’t control. One drink and one touch, and I would be a goner. “Every time you touch me I disappear. You’re my Bermuda Triangle and I live in fear”. Like the song says, I would totally lose myself in the situation. He really was my Bermuda Triangle. I knew it was a bad idea every single time, but I couldn’t fight it. One kiss and we were transported to Shangri La, disregarding the actual world. It’s amazing how physical chemistry can make your rational mind totally paralyzed.
I wrote this song directly after I left LA. I was tired, disillusioned, and needed to fully purge it from my system. You certainly can find some great people and experiences in LA, which I did, but largely so many people there are out for blood. People are roaming around like zombies trying to find success and fame, eating everyone alive that comes into their paths. I was so tired of living in that kind of environment and needed to get out. I needed to remember what it was like to be truly happy again. I needed to remember that happiness is true success. The end of the chorus sums up the whole song for me, “I’m leaving for a life that’s good, and I’m so fucking sick of Hollywood.”
This one I really wrote for my fans. I wanted to give them something that would empower them. Because I am an open LGBT artist, a lot of my fans come from situations where being LGBT is not ok. They have so much struggle in their lives and I want them to feel like they can get through the hardship and create a fully joyous life. The best way I know how to give strength and hope is through song.
10. The Nights We Lived
I’ve had so many experiences in my life already that I feel like I’ve lived many lives. But when I look back at them all, I clearly see how they molded me into who I am today, making all the experiences, good and bad, extremely valuable and life changing. This song is also the most intimate song I have ever written. It documents specific time periods of my life. I look back at the joys of moving to New York City when I was 20, the life changing experience of my dad dying when I was 25, and the hardships of a complicated abusive relationship when I was 29. And now, I’ve found great peace and happiness in my life and can look back at all those events as being things that helped push me towards true inner happiness. I picked this song as the title track to the album because the whole record is an accumulation of experiences that have lead to who and where I am today. Now it’s on to the next set of experiences..
11. Round And Round (Future Gangster Remix)
Firstly, it should be noted that ‘Future Gangster’ is me. My friend came up with that name and I loved it. I decided to make it my alter ego producer name. Right before I made this remix, I was heavily getting into making 80’s music. I love 80’s music so much and wanted to make a really fun, dancey 80’s song. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!
12. Next To You (Future Gangster Remix)
This remix was where Future Gangster was born. I was telling my friend that I was making a more dancey version of ‘Next To You’, and she had called me Future Gangster for some reason. Maybe it was the clothes i was wearing, maybe it was my attitude that day, I don’t really know. But I loved the name and decided to use it for my remixes.
13. Hollywood (Future Gangster Remix)
When I set out to remix this song, I was thinking less remix and more just a new production that was more upbeat. I stripped away all the acoustic instruments and gave it a much more synth-heavy production.
‘The Nights We Lived’ is currently available here on iTunes and here on Spotify. The sensational record, which was released just two days ago, is rightfully charting on iTunes in numerous countries and it follows Eli Lieb’s eponymous debut album.
It may only be April but ‘The Nights We Lived’ is already a strong contender for our album of the year. The songs keep going round and round in our head and we certainly aren’t complaining!
Are you loving ‘The Nights We Lived’ by Eli Lieb? Which are your favourite tracks on the record? Make sure you let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix!