A few years ago, OurStage ran a competition in partnership with the microchip giant Intel, searching for talent in various genres. One of the overall finalists was a song called “Coming Off Pretty” by what appeared to be a band called The House of Jed. On further inspection, it became clear that The House of Jed was actually the solo project of Jarrod Gollihare, who is a member of Admiral Twin, a band that had made a big impact on the site a couple of years prior. Although the folks at Intel ultimately selected another artist as their overall winner, we here at OS HQ were taken with “Coming Off Pretty,” a catchy burst of vaguely electro pop. We followed as Gollihare turned out several more excellent organic/electronic hybrid jams, including a couple of impressive videos. Out of curiosity and fandom, we approached him with some questions about his career and creative process, and he graciously took the time to answer. We found it interesting enough to make into the following interview, which has been lightly edited for clarity.
OS: I’m curious about your process. The music sounds really pro, but I imagine The House of Jed as a one-man operation from start to finish – is that accurate? Does anyone else perform, engineer, mix, or otherwise aid in the work?
JG: It is indeed a one-man operation. With the exception of a few backup vocals on “Everybody Lies” (courtesy of my wife Jaime) all the House of Jed sounds are made, engineered and mixed by me…in my one-room studio [at home]. For better or worse. I’ve got no formal production training. Everything I’ve learned, I picked up by peering over the shoulders of producers and engineers who actually know what they’re doing. Or by watching Internet videos. Or by trial and error. So, in other words, I’m pretty sure I do a lot of production stuff completely wrong, and I probably take way longer to accomplish recording and mixing tasks that could actually be done much more efficiently and effectively by a real professional. But I have fun.
OS: Do you program your drums? How do you get those sounds, which seem like a mix of real and programmed?
JG: Most of my recorded drums are played on my kit. Drums are actually my primary instrument. When it comes to recording a song, I’ll often put down a programmed drum loop over which I’ll record a scratch guitar and vocals…giving me a “roadmap” of sorts to use for recording my kit. And that programmed loop sometimes makes it into the final mix in little sections of the song, or layered with my real drums for effect. I don’t use anything too involved to make my loops, though. In fact, I either use this old freeware program called HammerHead (a super simple rhythm station that emulates a few sounds from Roland 606, 808 and 909 drum machines), or I use pre-made rhythms from an inexpensive (very unprofessional) Casio keyboard I’ve had for years. In fact, some of the keyboard bass I occasionally use comes from the “organ” setting on the same Casio. Another thing I do occasionally is cannibalize old drum recordings from my other band, Admiral Twin. I have a wealth of material I can re-purpose by slowing the isolated tracks down or speeding them up, and then chopping them into entirely new rhythms. The drums on “I Won’t Survive You” and “Last Entry” are re-purposed Admiral Twin drums.
OS: Do you use other virtual instruments, from apps or other software? Is that an Omnichord on “O Caligula?”
JG: I use virtually no virtual instruments. The bass on “Last Entry” is a virtual Moog that I programmed into a 12/4 pattern over which I played drums in 4/4 time to create a slightly off kilter pulse. That’s really about it, though. I tend to use real instruments. And yes, that’s an Omnichord you hear on “O Caligula.” It’s one of my prized eBay purchases. In my studio, I also have a small collection of guitars; a ukulele, a Danelectro bass; a MicroKorg synth; several cheap, consumer-level Casio keyboards from the 1980s (eBay baby!); a xylophone; a small Ludwig breakbeat drum kit, and quite a lot of percussion bits and bobs.
OS: I haven’t seen any tour dates – do you perform live with House of Jed? Any long-term goals beyond what you’re already doing?
JG: The House of Jed is a studio project for now. But I’d sure like to get these songs on stage at some point. I do play drums and sing with other acts though. One of those is Admiral Twin.
My goal for any song I write and record is (first and foremost) to make people feel something. Art of any kind is the closest thing to actual magic I can think of. And that’s a big deal to me. However – I’d sure like to earn some money with what I create, as well. It’s what I do best, after all. My big personal career goal is just to be able to get up everyday and work on art for a living…to pay the bills with my songs or writings or paintings (or a combination thereof). I’m grateful for my dayjob (my wife and I both work for a social media management company) but being a full-time artist is the real goal. I got a brief taste of the full-time musician lifestyle with Admiral Twin back when we were signed to a subsidiary of Universal Records. We got to put out one national release, and then – a few months after our CD hit the shelves – the label we were on (Mojo) folded, like so many other labels did at that time. We’ve been indie ever since. It was a good ride while it lasted.
OS: Do people call you Jed?
JG: Some of my friends call me Jed. Picked up that nickname in 6th grade…somehow it stuck. So feel free!
Aghast, we’ve missed out on two months of listening to Kat Robichaud‘s newest album, Misfit Cabaret. Making up for lost time with pure volume, we are blasting this one in the office, and cannot recommend enough that you do the same. The album takes its title from Robichaud’s ongoing San Francisco-based live variety show, which in turn spawned the original songs here (she writes two new songs for each live show). Robichaud continues in the dramatic gothic glam vein of her previous release Kat Robichaud and the Darling Misfits, but ups the ante with gloriously over the top lyrics and production. We can only imagine what it’s like to experience these songs live. Hopefully she’ll take the cabaret on the road someday. Listen to the full album here.
We already got into the great single and video for “You F#cked Up,” the first in the #SummerMonDaze series of single releases by the one and only Yonas. Since then, the New York artist has released two more, “Wait A Minute,” and most recently, “King Of The Summer.” They’re both killer tracks, unique in their own ways, but “King Of The Summer” is simply a masterful pop gem, a classic longing love song with a perfect hook. We’ll update this post as more tracks come.
Look, I think we’ve been very clear that New York’s Late Cambrian has been doing damn good things, so let’s get to the point. It’s been about three years since the release of their last full length, Golden Time, and since then, the band has morphed considerably from a catchy guitar rock band to a lean electro pop duo, who have released a series of carefully crafted singles and videos in the interim. Now, finally, Late Cambrian is readying the release of their new LP, Sweet Cambrian High, Vol. I & II. It’s available for pre-order now as part of a PledgeMusic campaign, and will be released on CD, cassette, and limited edition colored vinyl. So, if you like unique, infectious, and clever music – and we know you do – get to it now.
Los Angeles singer Chris Ayer just released a new single, “Stay Another Night.” It’s breezy, acoustic driven pop song perfectly suited for chilled-out summer nights. The intermittently pounding beat takes the track just outside of singer-songwriter territory and should help it find a home on Top 40 radio. In fact, “Stay Another Night” is already burning up the Spotify charts overseas. And just in time, since Ayer has been performing a series of dates in Europe, and will head to The Netherlands for a couple of dates in Utrecht on June 1st and Pinkpop festival in Landgraaf on June 5th. A video for the new single is forthcoming. In the meantime, listen below.
Somewhere between atmospheric electro pop jams and dancefloor bangers lies Iman‘s brand new single, “Wishing.” The London-based independent artist has been best known until now for writing and recording with Ed Sheeran and Rudimental, and was also called into writing sessions for Kanye West. But her smooth and sweet voice is quickly coming to the fore, as she gains international attention, and this new single demonstrates why. The clever and precise production is subtle enough to pull off the trick of creating a mellow vibe for a should-be dance pop hit.
Meanwhile, Iman is in the midst of a tour funded by a grant from PRS For Music Foundation. Here are the dates:
- 24th April 2017 – Lost in The Manor Vs Lady @ The Finsbury Pub | Free Entry | Get More Info here
- 27th April 2017 – Discovery 2 @ The 229 | Get Your tickets Now
- 28th April 2017 – BlueBerry Nation @ Ma Dame West London | Get your Tickets Now
- 6th May 2017 – Acklam Village | Set time – 5.00PM – 5.45PM | Free Entry | Get More info here