Combining storytelling and soundtracking, ENCOUNTER is a Musical-Memory-Mixtape, curated by music-minded people to tell a story about their creative process and experiences. It’s an artist’s chance to share their narrative in a new light, a way of getting inside the mind of our favorite artists.
Each edition of ENCOUNTER we ask our guest artist to curate an Obsession Mixtape of their own, themed around the IndieBeat standard question "what are your fondest musical memories?" What better way to become closer to artists than to hear the music they experience. We now introduce you to an ENCOUNTER with Attic Empire.
When I'm busy creating music with my 7-piece band, my first thought before putting pen to paper is "What would this sound like in front of an audience of thousands?"
Besides writing, performing, recording, etc., you can usually find me at a concert. Whether it's a music festival, venue, dive bar, party, or small backyard jam-sesh, there's nothing more that I love than supporting other musicians and seeing how they express themselves through this universal art form. It's actually insane how many incredible artists I've seen live, each one of them unique and inspiring in their own ways. These artists on this playlist have not only made great songs, but they are some of the best and most interesting live acts I've seen in the past few years. Each has inspired me to create the music I do now.
I don't want to bore you while talking about all of them, so I'm just going to write about a few of the most important ones to me.
Kindness - World Restart: I caught this band at FYF Fest in 2014. They played right before Blood Orange (Who had an equally incredible show during sunset). Adam Bainbridge (Kindness) has the perfect mix of quirk, pizzazz, and poise as a performer. His show consisted of an array of talented musicians, backup singers, and choreographed moments. It was unlike anything I had seen in the modern world of music; almost a blast from the past. This performance lit the creative spark in me when deciding what direction the band would go. World Restart is an absolute nighttime jam. Dark, mysterious, and packed with jazz. Oh, and don't forget the gnarly sax solo at the end; we love sax solos.
Prelow - For The Team: I caught these guys at The Troubadour in Hollywood for their first show in California. My bassist had mentioned this song to me about a year prior to that and it inevitably became a sort-of summer anthem. At the time he showed me, the group was a small little duo out of New York with a tiny following and a few songs on SoundCloud. As time went on, I watched them slowly gain the attention of fans from around the US. They booked a tour with Skizzy Mars and ended up here on the West Side. I was so absolutely stoked for them. To have watched them grow and mature as musicians, and then put on such a tight show for my first live Prelow experience, made me view this monster that we call "The Industry" a bit differently.
I Just Can't Keep Checking My Phone - Unknown Mortal Orchestra: What can I say? Each member of this band is an incredibly talented individual. I caught their set at FYF 2015 and was absolutely blown away by the musicianship the band had to offer.This song is very indie-disco sounding and so different from their other ones, though it was a great step for them. A lot of our songs have similar aspects to theirs. Multitudes of chord changes, hooky choruses, jazz influences, etc. Ruban Neilson (the lead singer) has such a sweet style and an undeniably unique voice, not to mention he can shred with that guitar. This band is still on the rise and deserves every bit of attention they can get. They inspired our music quite a bit by showing that it's one-hundred percent possible to breakthrough in the music industry without dumbing anything down. Mad respect for those guys.
Wavves - Demons To Lean On: I know what you're thinking. How could some surf rock band be an inspiration to an indie funk band? I was dragged to their show at The Smell in LA a few years ago by a good friend. Though it was hot, wet, and... wait for it... SMELLY, I had never seen such a communal bunch of fans at a show like that before. I've always enjoyed punk, surf rock, lo fi garage music, but had never been to a show before. It was almost like watching a beautiful, sweaty cult following moshing their brains out to this funny looking band. I have attended many similar shows since and have found that they're all quite like this in their own respects. Demons to Lean On is my absolute favorite Wavves song and though it hasn't really inspired anything I've done musically, it opened me up to a different side of the music world which now holds a little piece of my heart.
Gramatik - Chillaxin By The Sea: This guy is one of the best DJ's around in my humble opinion. His set at Lightning In A Bottle 2014 was mind blowing. I found myself dancing with strangers out in the middle of the desert like I had never danced before to the phattest, jazziest, and funkiest electronic music I had ever heard in my life. His remix of "Superstition" was the icing on the cake. I can't really describe the feeling as it's all very in the moment; watching a whole sea of people in this sphere of groove. Gramatik has inspired SO many of my electronic influences in Attic Empire's music. Our songs are very funky, dancey, and jazzy in their own ways. "Hands Unto The Sun" is a very production driven song with the reverb-drenched horns, melodic builds, and shimmering guitars. I'd love to see what it could sound like in the hands of a great edm producer like Gramatik.
Tyler Connaghan of Attic Empire
Thanks once again to the amazing Attic Empire for sharing their musical memories with us. You can find out more about space-funk via their official site, and on the social links below.
Be sure to stick to IndieBeat for more ENCOUNTERs with your next favorite artist.