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Eric Hutchinson Releases New Album CLASS OF 98 Today

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Eric Hutchinson Releases New Album CLASS OF 98 Today

Today Eric Hutchinson has released his much anticipated ode to teenagedom, Class of 98. The album marks a notable turn for the multifaceted artist that sees him turning to the often heavier sounds of his youth to fully appreciate and express the feelings of being a highschooler (and being an adult thinking back to that time). Despite that change, outlets like Billboard, American Songwriter, Relix, and more have regarded it as some of his best work yet. He debuted the album with Magnet on Thursday by hosting a virtual listening party, and will be playing an unplugged livestream concert tomorrow night at 8pm EST via their Facebook. The release week has also included an interview between Hutchinson and comedian John Mulaney where they discuss music, their life in highschool, and the difficulties of being a teenager.

On July 24, Hutchinson will be diving into each song and breaking down the album on "The Class of 98 Podcasts" alongside James Campion. He will also be releasing a Deluxe & Unplugged version of the album in late Summer.

Sometime last year, Eric Hutchinson came to a strange realization: he kept daydreaming about high-school. The adolescent dreams, hopes, fears, anxieties and emotions the singer faced as a kid began flooding back; suddenly, he felt transported back into his teenage self. Growing up in suburban Maryland, Hutchinson's teenage years were filled with the type of alienation and private angst recognizable to most anyone who's ever been 17, now in 2020 the singer was finally ready to write about it. The result: Class of 98, a 90's alt-rock-inspired autobiographical record that chronicles the singer-songwriter's adolescence. "It took me a long time to understand myself," Hutchinson says. "Writing this record allowed me to get into the time machine and go back and look around my old life and report from my current point of view. That was fun."

After experimenting with a series of genres like Americana/soul and jazz on his last few albums Modern Happiness and Before and After Life, the singer-songwriter turned to the pop-punk alt-rock of his youth for the riff-heavy Class of 98, taking inspiration from bands like Green Day, Oasis, and Weezer. "That music is in my guitar DNA," says Hutchinson. "I love 90's music, and this type of sound was so formative for me." To help round out the record, Hutchinson recruited Justin Sharbono (formerly of Soul Asylum) to offer his distinctive guitar playing and enlisted the sonic guidance and mixing talents of Paul Kolderie, who'd made great 90's records with bands like Radiohead, Hole, The Lemonheads, Buffalo Tom and The Pixies.

Taken as a whole, Class of 98 arrives as Hutchinson's most playful yet distinctive work. For Hutchinson, the experience of delving back into his high-school youth helped him learn a lot: about his upbringing, about parenthood, and about himself. "I like the 90's way better," he says, "when I'm not living in them."


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