In Review: Nashville Alt Hip-Hop & Rock Songwriter Eric Vattima Drops New EP In ‘fears.’

We’re all afraid of something. It’s overcoming those obstacles that make us strong.

Rising Nashville-based artist Eric Vattima introduced the latest chapter of his musical career with Friday’s release of fears., a six-song EP with tracks ranging from spoken-word-style-rap to early 2000s rock. Either way, Vattima’s vocals stand out as a strength of his, whether they be delivering lines quickly and precisely, or with tenacious emotion.

Within a collection that blurs genre lines, an underlying theme persists: “Fears don’t define you, they’re just a piece of the story that we create for ourselves,” the Las Vegas native said of the meaning behind the EP, “and once you make peace with them and learn to move forward, nothing can stop you from achieving the life goals you want.”

The EP kicks off with a sharp exhale at the beginning of “Friends,” and it’s about the only breath you’ll hear him take throughout the fast-paced song. Between the rhythmic delivery and discussion of topics such as fake friends and depression within the lyrics, Vattima pulls off a style similar to NF with a dash of Hobo Johnson. The second single released before the EP, Vattima is joined by hip hop artist and frequent collaborator MNERVA (a.k.a Matt Wagner) with whom he trades lines.

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Next up is lead single “Enemy,” which familiarizes listeners with his rock side, drawing power from its distorted guitar and persistent kick drum. There is a country-like grit to his voice that still fits the rock genre, as if Blake Shelton was singing a David Cook song (don’t worry, it works). This is followed with “Alone,” a break from its high-energy predecessors that lives up to the forlorn nature of its title. The layers of “ohs” in the interlude build up to a drum fill before a final explosive chorus, providing a triumphant answer that the rest of the melodramatic song seems to be searching for.

Credit: 104 Degree Collective

“Reality” introduces another angle to Vattima’s multifaceted artistry, with a funky, almost beachy feel to the verses and a jazzy chord walkdown in the chorus. In an exclusive interview with us back in February, he said of writing the song, “The inspiration came from the things that Matt [Wagner] and I were going through, and we wanted to convey it in a way where people could relate to the idea that sometimes things don’t make sense, and that hopefully someday they will.” The music video for the most recent single features Vattima in a dark room, sometimes laying on the floor or overlaid with a red light, visually depicting the struggles in the song.

Vattima executes a mix between his rock and rap abilities in “Sanity.” The doubling and distortion effects on his vocals throughout, and especially the sort of shout-singing at the end of the chorus, are comparable to rock band The Score. The EP very much ends with a “Period,” a bass-driven song that, though it has a stop-and-go feel throughout, fades out for a gentle ending to the emotional collection.

Whether it be in Nashville, Sin City, or the South Jersey Shore, where Vattima spent summers perfecting his sets, “If live shows make a comeback by the fall, I’m also ready to get back out to performing, both locally and in other surrounding cities,” he told us. “I miss playing with my band, and we’re all ready to get back out on the road and start having fun at shows again for those who have missed live music.”

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