This most recent run of songs is super chill. Songs about “driving” and “drowning” tend to be pretty mellow, I guess.
“Drowning In Your Eyes” was a minor hit in 1992. I could’ve sworn it grazed the top 40, but it didn’t, which leaves me stymied as to where I would have heard it initially. Might’ve been late night adult contemporary radio. At any rate, “Drowning” was the only major single release by Ephraim Lewis, a British singer who emerged in the wake of Seal’s breakthrough with a sound that was quite similar. Ephraim had a deeper voice and lusher, more ambient production. If you’re not familiar with his debut album, Skin, it’s a treat. If you were British and making downtempo music in the early ‘90s, you were winning, huh? Everything But The Girl, Seal, Massive Attack, Portishead…all made at least one classic album between ‘90-’96.
I remember being briefly infatuated with a co-worker named Evan, a few years after “Drowning” was a hit. He had amazing blue eyes, and at some point in my obsession I heard this song and those lyrics had a whole new meaning to me. Long story, that crush never led anywhere (story of my fucking life), but the song has a hypnotic pull that has stayed me through the years.
The sad postscript here is that Ephraim Lewis didn’t live to complete a second album. He passed away in L.A. at the ridiculously young age of 24. His death was ruled a suicide, but there are conflicting reports about how he died, with some saying that he was tazed on the roof of a hotel by the LAPD and that may have led to his falling. Either way, it was a sad ending to Lewis’s story and the guy had some seriously unfulfilled promise if his debut was any indication.