Categories
Music

Et Musique Pour Tous presents Les Auteurs – Nicky DePaul

Today I am excited to offer the second entry into EMPT’s “Les Auteurs” playlist series, in which our writers share playlists built around a theme of their choosing. The design of the EMPT is not condusive to author recognition, and we devised this series as a way for our loyal (unpaid) writers to put a name to the voices you know and love.

In the first “Les Auteurs” entry, Ashley H. (yes, there are multiple Ashleys!) shared an Indie Shuffle playlist built around the broad theme of love, and constructed to lead listeners through the phases of a romantic relationship. This week will be, well, different.

See, I have a love affair going on in my life. It’s been going on for a while now, and after a few years on and off, I’m glad were finally able to be together again. Whenever I find a spare moment, I’m running in my love’s direction, eager to bury myself in the wetness that awaits.

I admit it: I’m head over heels in love with the beach.

My youth was spent in a coastal community in West Los Angeles abutting Venice, considered the home of modern American skate and surf culture. The beach was a regular presence. My friends and I would bike or skate the few miles to the sand and post all day, surfing, flirting and growing up. Though I was undoubtebly the “Squid” of the group (I never could get the hang of that balance thing…), I found that the beach, and coastal settings in general, became the preferred haven for my soul. I’m a nature guy, an ecologist and climate scientist by training, and am absolute Wild (in the Thoreau-ian sense) addict. Nothing is more wild on this planet than the ocean, and I embrace the mysterious deep as my church. We could dive deep into naturalistic mysticism, but that’s for another day.

My “Les Auteurs” entry is entitled “BYOBeach,” and it’s sculpted to bring the ‘tude and feeling of a summer beach day to your earholes, wherever you may be physically located. Beach culture exists across the world in different forms, and I’m not trying to provide a comprehensive survey. “BOYBeach” mixes the haze and liberation of Australian psychedelic rock, the rebellious voice of long-haired teenagers at war with everyone, the prophetic calls of reggae forebears, and the ebullient promise of a life spent in the salt and sun.

Some of the tracks are retro classics. No beach playlist would be complete without The Beach Boys (“Catch A Wave”), Bob Marley and the Wailers (an incomparably great early recording of “Lively Up Yourself”) and Toots and the Maytals (“Sweet & Dandy” off the album that brought reggae music out of the Caribbean, “The Harder They Come (OST)”).

Others are brand new and laregely unknown. Howler (“Beach Sluts”), the brainchild of singer/songwriter Jordan Gatesmith is pure beach punk out of distinctly not-beachy Minneapolis. Elliphant (“Music Is Life”) aka Ellinor Olovsdotter, is another rising Swedish pop sensation who pays tribute to dancehall and reggae in her own unique fashion (look for her at the Mad Decent Block Party concert series this summer). And, because I’m obsessed withKevin Parker (of Tame Impala fame), I included tracks from two of this other projects: Melody’s Echo Chamber, where he serves as the producer for the brilliant French singer Melody Prochet, and Pond, where he plays drums.

Rounding out the playlist, we have tracks by The Babies, Superhumanoids (with whom I conducted an EMPT exclusive interview a few months back), Liam Lynch, Pete Rodriguez (you don’t know him, but you know the song), and reggae toaster Anthony B.

I selected “Danca Ma Mi Criola” by Tito Paris, out of Cape Verde. This song was on a random compilation album of music from island communities across the world I listened to as a child. It truly encapsulates what The Beach, for me, is all about: peace, relaxation and mutual communion through a shared love of the miracle of life.

Please listen to the playlist in it’s established order, as if an LP. It is structured to lead you through a full day at the beach, leading off hot and heavy, and letting you down gently as the final grains of sand fall from your towel.

Categories
Interview Music

EMPT Exclusive: Interview with Corsica Arts Club

Corsica Arts Club

EMPT gets a ton of emailed songs from up-and-coming artists, most of which we regretfully do not get to post. However, once in a while we find a gem and reach out to the performers to learn a bit more. Today, writer Nicky DePaul catches up with Corsica Arts Club, an emerging band out of Los Angeles who captured our ear with their blissful take on summertime rock, “California I Follow.”

EMPT: You guys are as new as they come. Tell us, who are Corsica Arts Club?

CAC: Corsica Arts Club is Brendan and Arash. We’ve been friends since we were teenagers and we’ve been making music together for over a decade.

EMPT:  What are your artistic goals? Are they the same as your career goals?

Arash: We try to write the best songs we can write, songs that we would enjoy listening to ourselves. There’s nothing we’d love more than to make a career out of it.

EMPT: How does your long-term friendship impact your writing and recording process?

Brendan: There’s a bond, an inherent understanding. It’s very easy to communicate both creatively and personally – our feelings, our aspirations, or how we’d like a song to sound.

Arash: We grew up liking the same music, discovering the same artists and albums together, so we have the same references for anything from melodic ideas to production ideas.

EMPT: “California I Follow” is very much an LA song, in the recent tradition of early releases from Best Coast or No Age: lo-fi, laconic, washed out. Does a sense of place infiltrate your music purposefully?

Arash: Not necessarily, though we can’t help but be influenced by our environment on some level.

Brendan: Whether in the narrative we’re telling or in the palette of sounds we’re using. At the same time, we strive to make music that’s universal, that can be appreciated regardless of the fact that we’re from LA.

Arash: If anything, we hope to evoke a feeling more than a specific place. All of our friends that we’ve played it for say it sounds like summer. That being said, I’d hope that someone who has never been to LA, but has a romanticized idea of it from films or television, hears the song and feels like they’ve been transported here. I love songs like that.

EMPT: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

Arash: I literally have no idea.

Brendan: I’d say the same. I’d feel like something was missing. The absence of music in my life sounds like an incomplete life.

EMPT: Your Facebook lists some prominent influences: Bowie, Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk, The Beach Boys. What does it mean to you to be influenced by an artist? How does influence appear in your art? Are there any current acts you’re drawing from or would recommend to our readers?

Arash: There are certain songs or albums that elicit such profound excitement when we hear them, that strike such a chord, we’re almost immediately thinking about how to recreate those feelings. David Bowie‘s”Low” for example. When we discovered that album it felt like finding the secrets of the universe. We’re enamored by everything about it – obviously the songs, but also the story behind it, the production techniques, the album art. It’s hard to pinpoint all the ways our favorite artists have influenced us, but I’ll tell you that we keep Bowie and “Low” in mind when we think about sounds or instruments we’d like to use in a song.

As far as current acts go, some of our favorites include Radiohead, The Strokes, and Phoenix. The guys from Dawes, who we knew back when they were called Simon Dawes, have had an influence on us in the sense that they turned us on to The Band and Big Star. We can’t thank them enough for that.

EMPT: Nice. I remember the Simon Dawes days. They played at my high school battle of the bands contest. Next question: What are you ordering at the bar?

Arash: A Death In The Afternoon. That’s champagne and absinthe.

Brendan: *laughs* I don’t drink. Arnold Palmer. Or water.

EMPT: You get to plan one perfect day. What does that day look like?

Arash: I’d want to spend the day on some beach, probably somewhere on the French Riviera, with a good book or two, then have a party at night with all my family and friends.

Brendan: My favorite place is Cinque Terre in Italy. I’d love to go back there.

EMPT: Any future plans you’d like to share?

Arash: We’re constantly writing and recording music. Beyond that? There are some things in the works. Keep an eye on us…

Many thanks and good luck to Corsica Arts Club. Find them on Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook for more music and updates.

Corsica Arts Club – California I Follow