When he’s found himself in intersections of personal and professional turmoil, cinematic neo classical composer Marc Enfroy has turned to his music. A decade ago, it was his guiding light through the darkness of losing his sister. Now, faced with feeling creatively stifled and some personal unrest, the Michigan-based artist channels his dissonance into his music, and discovers a whole new artistic and expressive palette. Aptly, he calls his latest full-length release Crossroads.
“On this album, I let go of my perceived limitations and went for a catharsis. I wrote songs about my pain, and I wrote songs about my happiness—it was liberating,” Enfroy confides.
In a decade that spans five critically acclaimed albums, Enfroy has become a leading artist in the new age and neo classical world. His music has been described as “cinematic piano” because of its evocative nature. Enfroy’s music has a dramatic quality that puts the listener into a state of mind at the juncture of meditation, daydreaming, and being fully engaged in a movie. At the core of this immersive music is his crystalline piano, and supporting roles are delegated to orchestral strings, subtle choirs, and moony atmospherics.
Enfroy has garnered acclaim from a bevy of tastemakers in the new age world. A cross selection of plaudits include two times being nominated for Zone Music Reporter Awards’ best neo-classical album, winning best neo-classical album in the New Age Reporter Lifestyle Music Awards, and appearing on best album lists by MainlyPiano.com and NewAgeMusicWorld.com. Enfroy has also earned accolades from WAWL and KTEP Radio, ZoneMusicReporter.com, NewAgeMusicWorld.com, MainlyPiano.com, GRAMMY® winning pianist Laura Sullivan, GRAMMY® nominated new age composer Al Conti, and Billboard-charting producer/recording artist Randy Copus.
Enfroy’s career in music began when he was at a crossroads a decade ago. His sister had passed away from melanoma and he felt overwhelmed by her death, and inspired by her legacy as a creative soul. While processing these feelings, he found himself facing his mortality and questioning his own history. He took solace in composing instrumental music. It is here Enfroy discovered a gift that had been dormant since his days as a teenager playing rock n’ roll guitar. Wiser and more vulnerable, he returned to music with a renewed focus. “My motivation has been to create music that even in a small way helps somebody through complicated stages in life,” he says.
Crossroads is an intriguing entry in Enfroy’s five-album oeuvre. It’s darkly majestic with symphonic rock flourishes and contains three songs with hauntingly beautiful female vocals. The path to Crossroads began when Enfroy and his brother experimented with forming a rock band fronted by a female vocalist. As a teenager, Enfroy was an aspiring rock guitar player. Melding the energy and roiling emotionality of rock-based music, with the sophistication and introspective journey quality of his compositions, Enfroy burst through artistic boundaries and reinvigorated his creativity.
A scan of the song titles on Crossroads reveals a dramatic emotional arc. With haunting beauty the album grapples with relationship ruptures, consequence, and the fear of new beginnings. A rousing minor key melodic piano motif opens “Your Silence is a Razor” setting the scene for Aili Laine’s stirring and sensual vocals. Here she sings about the painful complexity of being iced out of an intimate connection without any channels of communication between the warring parties. The title track is a foreboding instrumental with elegantly elegiac strings. It conjures a dizzying scene of sudden and profound change where the death of the past becomes something to mourn, and the uncertainty of the future is anxiety inducing.
Crossroads also offers the comfort and centered grandeur of Enfroy’s signature aesthetic. “Sepia” lushly emotes nostalgia. “In That Moment” unfolds slowly and purposely from winsome piano melodies to soaring richly textured crescendos. The effect is transcendent. “It’s about a defining moment. A moment of passion, disbelief, and tearful joy when you suddenly realize you’ve found true love,” Enfroy shares. His stunning rendition of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata “Moonlight Obsession” offers a chance to pause for reflection. Enfroy reveals: “That composition fits within the storyline as the point where the protagonist comes to terms with the pain and realization that he has to start over. Despite it all, he feels liberated.”
Another highlight is Enfroy revisiting his most popular track on Pandora with “Unbounded Reprise.” This 2016 version features crisper production, lavish organic strings, and stretches out with a triumphant additional chorus.
Crossroads represents an artistic breakthrough for Enfroy. Contemplating the album, and the lessons it’s gifted him, Enfroy says: “The biggest thing for me has been realizing I can show all the different sides of my personality. I’ve learned it’s okay to be fearlessly vulnerable with my music.”