Cyr Is Taking You on a Journey in “Callused”

by Felicity Bosk

 Eric Cyr has been carrying songs in his heart, and now with a little help he has recorded them in his new album, “Callused.”

He moved to Duluth to study at UMD and stayed after falling in love with the city. Cyr wrote the song “Callused” for his one-year-old son, which became the album title. Its chorus features the line, “I hope your hands get callused but your heart never will.”

“The song is a lot about life is going is going to be hard at times, but don't let it break you down,” he said.

My favorite song on the album is “Figs.” Cyr shared the song on Facebook and YouTube, posting, “I wrote "Figs" a few years ago inspired by a few different thoughts and conversations I was having at the time - like what if I die and find out I wasn't as good of a person as I thought?” The song uses a catchy melody to work through Cyr’s contemplation on bigotry, racism and his own privilege and place in society.

"Figs" is what makes Cyr so unique among other local singer-songwriters. His songs are about the self and the human experience on a very internal level. They make you turn in and reflect on yourself. A lot of artists sing about other people, events, experiences, but only scratch the surface. Cyr's writing style takes you deeper into issues making each song feel personal.

Pinning down a genre to describe ones music as can be challenging. By and large, "Callused" can be described as Americana or roots. But one track, “In Love Again” is more of a lounge jazz track, and “Give Me a Dance” is energetic, reminiscent of early rock n’ roll.

“As a singer-songwriter you're trying to process your own experiences in a way that doesn't seem so personal, but that other people can relate to it,” said Cyr. “That in general is what music is trying to do. Trying to convey beauty; convey some sort of goodness in the world that we can experience together.”

Cyr will have their album release party 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Barrel Room. Eric will perform with his sister Rachel, who adds to the vocals on a number of songs. Jacob Mahon will open the show.