Ethan Gruska first stepped into the spotlight in the rock duo The Belle Brigade. Since then, he has grown as a composer and a producer. His solo work has been compared to the ultra-creative, left-field piano and guitar songs of Brian Wilson, Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks, and Jon Brion. Now, with the uniquely poppy pastiche of beautiful songs, adventurous production, and revolving door of guest spots that is his second solo album En Garde, Gruska is stepping into his own as a grand artist and orchestrator for our time.
Gruska's wanted texture for his songs, and for them to feel like collage, with multiple things happening at once. Then, with the guidance of his longtime mentor and production guru, the LA industry titan Tony Berg, Gruska slowly began reining in the vast soundscapes he had created to hone in on the songs themselves. His natural instincts as a multi-genre kaleidoscope and conduit with a whirring Rolodex also played a part, with multiple guest spots and co-written songs on En Garde helping to power the album's motor. The result is an intricately layered and masterfully played collage, all collected in the vague shape of a dozen left-of-center, thematic and concise pop songs. The album's epic scope and brilliant blend of sounds, styles, and souls signal a grand achievement and herald the myriad talents of one of music's brightest young stars.