The start of every year always has its highlights, that new pep in your step, an increase in motivation, that drive inside that makes you want to get out and get it. One of our favorite things about the new year though is the end of February, where our good friends at Noise Pop throw their annual festival. And for those few weeks, the city comes alive, we finally get up off our asses and touch some road, ales and cameras in hand. Running around town trying to catch as many shows as we can. This year’s Noise Pop fest is looking to be yet another banger of a time. Browse this lineup below and try not to spend your whole savings account on tickets….. Or do, it’ll be worth it.
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Cutis Lowe’s new E.P “Sad Bangers Vol. 1” just came out and it’s a foot-tapping good time. Conor Cook, the N.Y.C/ L.A bi-coastal based producer behind it, who is also in VHS Collection, wanted to make something that was a bit out of the norm for him. Working more on the production side with a lot of collaboration for the vocal side. The list of contributors is a stacked one, Cook, plays guitar on every track but the collaborations include vocalist Naomi Wild, RCA artist TOMI, Ben Duffy of the UK band Fenech-Soler, and James King of Fitz and the Tantrums. Also, Leif Podhajsky, who has created album art for Tame Impala, Foals, and Bonobo among others, provided artwork for the project.
“I wanted the project to be more electronic, and work with different singers and have me be more a part of the project. I was most excited about collaborations. I’ve been in LA writing with so many different people and it’s just awesome. That early stage of getting the idea and working with someone else on it is just so fun” Cook said about the project.
When you listen to this album you’ll hear influences that take you back a bit, that are a bit more relaxing, but also tracks you can still party to. Cook explains this method and how he got these influences.
“I wanted to work with more 90’s song references. More classic house as opposed the more mainstream American EDM. A lot of it was just me alone in my apartment for weeks playing with different ideas, and synths, just pacing around my apartment for months trying to get these ideas down how I wanted them. With VHS it’s three of us and a producer, this was just me wrestling with it by myself.”
There was a goal of individuality that Cook tried to get out of “Sad Bangers” as he mourned over this album for months on months alone in his apartment. It’s so easy to get swept away in house music of today, but Cook did not want to be a part of that wave. “There was something about it that I found cooler than most electronic music that I am into. A lot of house records do sound similar just based on the process, but there are others that are trying to branch out and do their own thing. I kind of wanted to go down that path on my own. Within house music, there are things that you can branch out on.”
The lyricism played an important role in the overall process for Cook, he didn’t want just some corn stuffed lyrics to be thrown in there, he wanted music to dance to with some party in there. But also,he wants you to be able to be swept away in the story when listening to it alone in the car. “The songwriting I wanted to be legit, I didn’t want this to be based around stupid lyrics with singers that don’t know what they are doing. I hope the songs connect with people and also I just want the songs to connect with people and have it still be party music. I’m not trying to invent my own genre, I want to just put my own spin on it. What I care most about is a good record and a good song that a lot of effort was put into making it.”
The summer seems to be stacking up well for Cook and his future projects, with a lot more coming down the pipeline. “I have a lot more ideas and music that I’m going to release in the summer. I just kind of chip away at stuff, work on something for a whole day and then come back to it in a few days. Definitely putting out a lot more music in the future. It’ll be a mix, with some pop songs and then some other stuff that’s a bit longer and whatever comes naturally to me. It should all be.”