Jack O'Brien and I met in the summer of 2016 after he had played a gig at 29 Pratt Street in Allston, MA with his band Public Pool (then known as Bear Salon). One year later I had finally convinced him to let me record and produce some songs of his that he'd been working on for years. This was my first time sitting with an artist, making sure we were recording in his most comfortable environment, and really trying to push his songs to extend farther than your usual acoustic singer/songwriter EP. As you can hear, Jack's music calls for it. His debut album Boo Hoo (fully produced by yours truly) is now available on Bandcamp.
Read Your Mind
This is one of my favorite collaborations to date. Aria and I had met online after I tweeted asking for submissions from female vocalists. Originally I wanted only to have a soulful female voice on one of my own songs, but Aria's voice is just so strong that I felt compelled to contribute in any way that I possibly could to her vision. This resulted in many emails back and forth, some long hours in front of the laptop, and several beautiful tunes. Aria's vocal ability demands thoughtful, intentional production which I try wholeheartedly to provide.
About a year after my first release, the self-titled free album Planetarian, I was contacted by Rockie Fresh's management. They had sent me a rough demo of Rockie rapping over the intro track on my album, Landing. I loved it, in fact I remember making a few songs on that album with the hopes that someday they would be viewed as sample-able material. Fast forward to January 2016 and this track was released as the first song on his debut album, with some additional production thrown on by Mitchell Owens, and Mike Daley.
It had been about a year since The Kevin Abstract EP was released and in that time, I had put out a few experimental projects myself (perhaps too experimental, spirits were a bit low). I had met some members of BROCKHAMPTON at a show and particularly enjoyed my conversation with Dom McLennon in which he recommended a book to me and shared some thoughts on music production. I sent some instrumental ideas his way a few months later and we got to cooking. flowers, though it may not have gotten past demo stages, is probably the best work that we have done together. I was attempting to capitalize on Dom's unconventional flows with spacey electric piano samples and heavy, grounded drums.
After the release of the self-titled Planetarian album, I struck up a friendship with Kevin Abstract of BROCKHAMPTON* (*back then it was ASF, or Alive Since Forever). I was making some experimental hip-hop instrumentals and he was looking to make an EP, so we combined forces and I produced The Kevin Abstract EP under the moniker HoraceTheGiant. This was my first time producing for another artist, and it was a great pleasure to work with someone so open-minded and forward-thinking. We were going for a left-of-center approach to rap music, drawing inspiration from popular acts such as Kid Cudi and Pharrell as well as more underground efforts like Captain Murphy and Madvillain. It gained the attention of Pigeons and Planes and sparked my love for collaboration. Kevin Abstract has since gone on to become a pop icon and start a boy band.
"Swim" is an indie-rock song that I recorded in 2013 to be released with twelve other songs exclusively on Soundcloud. At that time, I used the moniker "Planetarian" for my releases, and continued to release four more albums over the next two years. This album gained the attention of Tyler, The Creator, (one of my personal favorite artists), and went on to be featured in the Workaholics episode "Friendship Anniversary" alongside a montage of Adam, Anders, and Blake hesitating to text each other after a lonely few hours apart. At this point, I was trying to create a nostalgic, summery, innocent sound with just a midi keyboard and a guitar.