Blue valentine 

Andrew Heilprin might be the nicest musician working today. After half an hour of talking to the beach-pop songwriter who goes by the name Blue-Eyed Son, he asked me to sit in on ukulele at his Sunday show at The Conservatory.

Minutes later, he asked to be Facebook friends.

That friendly, easygoing style spills over into his performances: Heilprin recently became an unplanned participant at a bachelorette party in Flagstaff, Ariz.

“Her drunk maid of honor comes over and says, ‘Will you please play her a song? Please play her a song.’ So I got my guitar and went over and played her a song right at the bar,” Heilprin said with a laugh. “I wasn’t going to do it, but I’m glad I did. I made them really happy. I got a big hug.”

Will play for hugs? That chill mantra fits with the sound of Blue-Eyed Son, which falls somewhere between Jack Johnson’s beach pop (Heilprin is an avid surfer) and horn-laden indie pop. Blue-Eyed Son’s new, five-song EP, Shadows on the Son, is a bouncy, charming set of tunes that will have listeners smiling in no time.

This chipper willingness to take life as it comes has contributed to his unusual path through the music industry. After the demise of his early-aughts rock band, 40 Watt Domain, Heilprin released Blue-Eyed Son’s debut album, West of Lincoln, in 2004. The disc did well, twice landing his music on the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy.

Then life happened. A yearlong film-editing job in Taiwan took him away from an almost-finished follow-up disc; upon his return, he scrapped the tunes for a new direction. Even during the recording of Shadows, he left his home base of Los Angeles for a job in San Francisco.

With the EP released yesterday, a tour booked and an electronic remix, Heilprin’s energies have been refocused on his main passion: music.

“If you find what you love to do, you should devote yourself to it,” he said. “What’s your passion?” It wasn’t a rhetorical question.

And so it goes with Blue-Eyed Son’s music and personality: calm, thoughtful, engaging fun, and interesting. There’s perhaps no better way to sum up the act’s ethos than with his thoughts on creating the remix to “We’re Fighting a War.”

“When you start on something, sometimes it ends up being way different than what you thought it was going to be,” Heilprin said. “And sometimes it ends up way better.”

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Stephen Carradini

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