Erisy Watt is a Nashville-raised folk artist based in Portland, OR. Consistently referred to as “the next-in-line to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones, her music is an exercise in what contemporary folk today sounds like at its peak.”
Inspired by both her time spent studying and working along the central coast of California and in remote regions of Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal, Watt’s music invites listeners to rejoice in the beauty and freedom of wilder places. With several US and international tours over the past years, Watt’s shared the stage with acclaimed artists John Craigie, Hurray for the Riff Raff, L.A. Salami, Mr. Little Jeans, Shook Twins, Kuinka, Dustbowl Revival, Royal Jelly Jive, T Sisters and Rainbow Girls and has now just released her debut album on July 26th, 2019.
Watt is a Nashville-raised creative but didn’t truly begin sculpting her sound until moving to the west coast to attend school in Santa Barbara, California in 2011. Growing up on Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and an eclectic mix of Brazilian Bossanova artists, 1960’s folk singers, and powerful female figures, Erisy had a natural likeness for all types of music that would positively impact her sound in the future. Today, she harkens comparisons to both Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones and uses the guitar, and banjo, plus creative energy with longtime collaborator Jeremy Ferrara, to create timeless melodies and lyrics. Flash-forward, 8 years later, the singer-songwriter has coined a genre born from her diversity and wanderlust. Presently, the artist juggles releasing new music to the world, while exploring every corner of it, and spent 8 out of 12 months of her latest songwriting process living out of a suitcase.
The independently funded and managed artist has made impressive strides in her career, earning praise from CBS This Morning, No Depression, Pop Matters, The Bluegrass Situation, Americana Fest, Glide Magazine, Jam in the Van, graced the airwaves of KCSB, KCBX, KCSU, earned spots at Lucidity Festival and various Sofar Sounds around the world, and played to sold out crouds at legendary venues such as 100 Club in London, Hotel Cafe in LA, and Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. Her music is nontraditional and otherworldly, though her lyricism couldn’t be more human. For her whole life, music was a large exhale throughout everyday life and it’s something she echoes on stage for those who allow themselves to be enchanted by it.
As every artist of any craft undergoes, Watt has seen great chapters of evolution throughout her years as a recording artist. In the midst of recording her debut record, Watt underwent surgery for her vocal cords to remove a hemorrhagic polyp. The diagnosis and procedure were traumatic, but through the process of recovery, Watt has discovered a new flexibility and freedom that has allowed her to flourish into a stronger vocalist. Watt was previously forced to develop her sound around her voice’s unique restrictions. Now in the healing process, Watt feels physically and creatively uninhibited. It’s that freedom of boundaries that she sees influencing her creation for many years to come.
In addition to performing, Watt founded benefit concert series Cabin by the Sea as a way to intertwine her deep reverence for live music and passion for positive community action. A traveling concert series that raises funds and awareness for local organizations, Cabin by the Sea has raised over $8,000 for area nonprofits and musicians since its founding and continues to bring the community together to groove, give back, and gain awareness. Erisy splits her time helping lead Habitat Conservation Programs around the globe and working to have a positive environmental impact on small and large scales. She aims to use both music and work to inspire positive community action, give a voice to those that are doing good and bolster ongoing movements to find and implement solutions.
PRAISE/COVERAGE FOR Paints in the Sky
“Consistently referred to as the next-in-line to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones, her music is an exercise in what contemporary folk today sounds like at its peak.” - No Depression
"Sublime vocals - the highlight on a beautiful sounding debut…There is a lovely warmth and flow that is replicated time and again on the album...9/10" - Americana UK
"Heartening...transforms fear into wonderment...stunning." - Wide Open Country
“Call it dream folk, call it mesmerizing or imaginative, but Watt's compositional voice is something to behold.” - PopMatters
"Knocking on the door of stardom." - Country Music Views
"Incorporates the most palatable traits of Laura Nyro, Nick Drake and Ryley Walker...a summery late 60’s style jazz-folk that fills a bucket of poignant notes." - Glide Magazine
“It’s a voice comparable to She and Him, Courtney Barnett and Norah Jones among others, yet equally defies these comparisons” - The Big Takeover
"Her whispery voice and tranquil guitar lulled us in, but the lyrics...lingered with us, bits of thoughtful poetry that stayed in the soul." - The Independent
Album featured in the Americana Music Association Newsletter
"Treasure Maps" featured in the Americana Music Association Newsletter
"Treasure Maps" featured on Spotify’s Official Fresh Folk 2019 playlist and Indie & Folk Radio playlist
"Treasure Maps" at KCSN
Album review at Americana UK
"Redwoods" video premiere at Wide Open Country
"Treasure Maps" premiere at The Bluegrass Situation
"Am I" premiere at PopMatters
"Never Know" track review at No Depression
"Light" premiere at Glide Magazine
"Never Know" feature at The Big Takeover
"Never Know" video premiere at East of 8th
Album review at Country Music Views
Release show feature at Vortex Music Magazine
In rotation at KBOO
"Light" featured on CHILLFILTR playlist