Monday, October 22, 2012

EIC's 10Q's w/ James & Evander

"..roll the windows down, let the sun shine, worry about nothing.."

James & Evander
Shiny Chill Pop

JamEs & Evander Bio
James & Evander started in the apartments of its two members (whose real names happen to be Adam Myatt and Glenn Jackson) while both were attending an art school of sorts back in 2007. Driven by a love of synthesizers and a healthy curiosity for sonic exploration, J&E turned out a number of EPs over its first few years of existence, at first crafting tender slices of indietronica with The Awkard Turtle EP and later turning out stoney pieces of instrumental synth-pop on 2010’s Sunlight and Circuitry. Last year, the pair successfully added its own vocals to the mix, resulting in a three-track EP which molded the pairs’ knack for rich, flowing soundscapes into a space-age take on vocal-driven pop music. The Constellating EP opened up James & Evander’s appeal to a whole new audience, and helped them push their own spin on “future-pop” to new corners.  Now, after making a brief stop in the land of galactic disco for a 7″ with Gold Robot Records, J&E have issued their debut full-length, Bummer Pop, a record that continues in the vein of Constellating with 10 songs of lush, infectious pop, complete with layers of cavernous vocals. Inspired by the diverse Oakland electronic scene from which the duo stem (running with the likes of Yalls, Shortcircles, Elephant & Castle, etc.), Bummer Pop attempts to cover a lot of ground, moving through moments of disco-tinged dancefloor fair, spiralling chillwave, synth-soaked indie-pop, and hazy sections of blissed-out beat work. The album’s constant is its layered vocal contributions, which both Myatt and Jackson share, landing on introspective themes that fit the music’s personal tone. It’s an inviting debut that doesn’t attempt to shout out its presence, but rather hopes to envelope the listener in blankets of sound, revealing more and more details with each listen.

Hello, how are you?
A bit hung over. We were asked to be the DJs for a Starfucker show last night, which was basically a license for drinking to excess.

What are you currently listening to?
The new Xx record and a new album from our Oakland friends Religious Girls just came out, so that's what we've been listening to this morning. Also, the new Luke Abbott EP, 'Modern Driveway', has been on repeat lately.

Is there one particular band/sound/idea that inspired this project?
Years ago, we bonded over a shared love for DNTEL/Jimmy Tamborello/Postal Service and Moog synths. We were attending an "art school" of sorts at the time, and had an opportunity to use the studio spaces there to first try any and all ideas out. Somehow, we landed on stoned-out synth-pop.

LOVE your debut LP, care to tell us a little bit about it; theme, recording process, likes/dislikes, etc.?
We basically began by taking stock of all the tracks we had started over for the years but for one reason or another never finished. For instance, "What Else Is New?" was started way back in 2007 (and it took us recording three different drummers to get it to finally work) and "I Don't Mind" is built from a riff Glenn/Evander had been playing since his high school days. From there, we just kept jamming and experimenting until we found 10 songs we were happy with that didn't all sound the same (we hope). 'Bummer Pop' brought on a lot of challenges, especially expanding our still limited experience with vocals into the full-length format, so some of it now sounds a bit underdeveloped to us. Honestly, we're still learning how to use our voices every time we play a show or write a new song!

What's your favorite track and why?
"The Creative Process" and "I Don't Mind" are up there because they were so fun to make, we had the opportunity to stretch the "J+E sound" and include some live drums, acoustic guitars, and friends' vocal talents into our sonic palette.

Will you be touring for said release?
Unfortunately, we're just not up for any hardcore touring. We've played a lot of shows in and around California since the release, and we'd like to make it up to the Northwest at some point, but really, we'd rather just make more songs for now!

Got any other projects we should know about?
Definitely! We have our hands in a variety of things at all times it seems, but we've been working on some new tunes for a project called Hoodcats, a collaboration between us and Shortcircles (our housemate). It helps us get out our more ridiculous dance music inclinations, plus it's provided a nice excuse to sample Mark Morrison and Christina Aguilera!

What movie would work best on mute while listening to your music?
Ghostbusters, or maybe an episode of Pete and Pete?

 You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
We'd almost probably rather listen to nothing than just one album for the rest of our lives! But, if we had to choose, probably Four Tet's 'There Is Love In You', really still haven't gotten over how flawlessly gorgeous that whole album is!

Are you living your dream?
Maybe the dream of 16 year-old us when all we wanted was to do was live in a house that had a studio in it and to be working on music all the time. Just didn't picture that house in the Oakland ghetto or the music-making to involve so much weed perhaps!

Thanx Tim + J & E!

James & Evander recently released a remix companion to 'Bummer Pop', which can be found HERE (for free).

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