Optimist Records is a new part of The Arts Section where we will be releasing artists we like on a pay what you want basis (this means you could get the music for free). The first release is Wearin’ Shorts in the Summer by Luke Brandfon, which you can download HERE.
Luke Brandfon is a musician who has explored many genres. He has played folk, experimental instrumental, sweaty dance beats (Heartthrobz, who will be released later this summer on Optimist Records), and more. His solo material comes from some place else. When listening to Wearin’ Shorts in the Summer, a title that currently speaks volumes to me, I can’t help but feel a sense of warm nostalgia. The great opening duet “Wasabi Pea” introduces the listener to the young love present through much of the album.
“The Moment” has a hint of Willie Nelson and Phosphorescent and is a song of longing and heartbreak where Brandfon repeats, “You don’t even want to be my friend.” Brandfon’s lyrics can sound simple (as he discusses below), but they feel honest. The album has many highlights, so be sure to download it HERE if you think you think you might be wearing shorts this summer. Just type in zero for the price if you want the album for free.
What do you get out of being in bands that are so musically different?
I get a lot out of being in bands that are musically different. It gives me a chance to experience and enjoy songs in different ways – whether it's making ridiculous disco ballads with overtly lustful and immature lyrics or recording really bare love songs with just a crappy guitar in my college dorm room – there are so many things I love about music, about writing songs, and about playing live, and having different groups in addition to solo stuff is a great way to try out new ideas.
What is your songwriting process like?
My songwriting process is very confusing - even to me....a lot of times my songs start with a melody I think up, or a chord progression I write. In other words, lots of times I'll just hit record and play the guitar, keyboard, or whatever, until I start playing something that I think really sounds good, or is pretty, and so on and so forth. Then, once I get a decent progression I'll write words over it, overdub other instruments, etc.....for some of my songs, the lyrics are really secondary---and you can totally tell what songs they are, because the words are pretty simple, without any hidden metaphors.....but, even when my lyrics are "cheesy", or seemingly trite, when I'm writing them, or singing them, I'm really doing it sincerely.
Working on anything new?
Yes, finding a job.