Goldroom Takes us to Paradise at Mysteryland USA

Mysteryland USA has a uniqueness unlike many festivals—from the diverse electronic-only artists, to the interactive art displays, to the location. This past Memorial Day Weekend, Goldroom played at the festival held in Bethelwoods, the site of the original Woodstock. According to Goldroom, “This is my first time here and I got to walk around the grounds. It’s so beautiful and everyone is excited. Every festival has such a different and unique vibe. Mysteryland clearly has this Upstate NY vibe; the drive from JFK today was so beautiful, it just puts you in the right mindset.”

Tropical house is probably the best music for a festival—warm, sunny vibes that help you to forget about your worries (or the cold, if you happened to be at Mysterland at night this past weekend!). The Webster Hall tent at Mysteryland brought in a variety of exciting artists, and after sax-tastic sounds of Moon Hooch, Goldroom took the stage to bring his fun, tropical sounds to the tent. According to Goldroom, “Even when I was a kid and listening to music, it was really escapist for me so I was always drawn to warmer, tropical sounds. I always wanted to go somewhere–to paradise.”

For Goldroom, who grew up in New England, that paradise manifested itself as the West Coast, where he moved to attend USC. “I moved to California so that I can sail year round–USC has a competitive collegiate team… After I moved [out to the West Coast], I very quickly fell in love with the Southwest. LA has had a huge influence on me in a number of ways: the culture, food, people. It’s still very romantic to me. Driving out getting to the beach and seeing the palm trees and Pacific Ocean–its beautiful and I’ve never really lost that romantic vision for LA and it comes across in my sounds.”

Even before heading out west, his music was being influenced by the sounds of French DJs as well. While he was running a music blog and surfing for music on MySpace, he found himself coming back to French music. The catalytic moment for him, though, was seeing Daft Punk live: “Seeing Daft Punk play live–it’s the most cliché thing ever, but seeing the Pyramid Show really changed my life and made me realize that electronic music could be emotive and communicative pop music, even without a live show and live vocals. It just totally changed my perspective on what electronic music was capable of. Thru Daft Punk, I ended up finding out about their contemporaries, eventually diving into lesser known parts of French Touch artists, like Lifelike, Alan Braxe, Fred Falke, artists in Nantes called Valerie, College, and another guy called Anorak.

Despite these early influencers on his music, Goldroom doesn’t feel that there are many artists that are influencing his sound today. “A lot of people will ask me, ‘What DJ’s are you listening to now? Who’s influencing your sound?’ The truth is, pretty much nobody. The people that really influenced me were when I first fell in love with electronic music–I fell in love with Daft Punk, Air, Phoenix, and I fell in love with a whole bunch of French artists who were incorporating synthesizers and sort of funk rhythms in a really interesting way. That sound is still incredibly inspiring to me. Especially the work of Alan Braxe & Fred Falke–two guys that, when they were working together, they were creating this incredible sound pallet. But they didn’t have vocals and they weren’t writing songs around it–they were extended beats. I always had this vision that if I could bring really good songwriting to that style it could be a really interesting combinations. It’s a never ending search and I’m still trying to get there.”

What drove Goldroom to the French Touch style in particular was the emphasis on the synthesizer, something music in the US was not yet so keen on bringing back. “I just fell in love with all the sounds they were doing. Especially because in the mid to late 2000s, using synthesizers and electronic sounds within indie music in the US was just completely frowned upon. We had a band with synthesizers and we would just get laughed off the stage because it just wasn’t cool at all. And now of course every band has three of them.”

 

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Goldroom at the Webster Hall Tent at Mysteryland. Photo by Kristen Grennan for Sensible Reason

Fans will be pleased to know that, despite being laughed off the stage, Goldroom (obviously) never gave up on the sound he wanted to make. “I didn’t quit because I never thought I’d get past that point—I was never trying to get to a point where I was playing at a sold-out house. I just wanted to get better at writing songs. I also knew I wasn’t very good at that point… I never thought this would be a career. I was never trying to ‘make it’–I was just trying to do exactly what was cool to me. To this day, I make music because it’s the kind of music I hear in my head and it’s the kind of music I want to listen to.”

Today, Goldroom is getting creative with how he presents his music. His latest EP It’s Like You Never Went Away, was the first EP to be released exclusively on SnapChat (in the “Discover” section of SnapChat). The video was released consecutively over four days and told a full story, which you can read more about in the New York Times: http://shorefire.com/releases/entry/goldroom-captures-summertime-in-la-on-new-ep-out-today-via-downtown-records

Speaking about the project, Goldroom told Sensible Reason that the idea of using SnapChat came first, before having the full EP. “I wouldn’t have put these songs out if it wasn’t for that this particular opportunity. Having that opportunity to make videos that are shot in portrait for phones for the first time, that was something that was very exciting for me as an artist because it had never been done before… We just had to figure out what the songs were and go from there. It wasn’t exactly that we had an idea for an EP and we found a home for it, it went the other way around.”

Goldroom has been a long-time SnapChat user, so having a video on SnapChat Discover was definitely a good fit. You can follow him on the username Goldroom. According to him, the reason why he loves SnapChat is how it connects him to his fans and vice versa: “I love the story feature. I put so much stuff up that I would never post anywhere else. It’s so fun to just kind of be able to document anything and you don’t have to worry about it clogging up your life or feed…  On Twitter, someone asks you a question, you respond, and it doesn’t turn into a conversation–mostly because it’s very public, it’s a very one off kind of thing. But someone can send you a message on SnapChat and it’s not uncommon that I will have a 10- or 20-line conversation with someone. It’s a nice way to be able to interact with fans in a more personal way.”

Be sure to check out Goldroom’s new EP here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/its-like-you-never-went-away-ep/id991065326 and here: https://play.spotify.com/album/2bUoCIKDIrrvt1vZiXXlIR

Be sure to also check out Goldroom at one of his upcoming shows:

06/04 – Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa 2015
06/25 – Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest Festival
07/11 – Chicago, IL @ Mamby On The Beach
07/16 – Scranton, PA @ Camp Bisco
07/31 – Montreal, Canada @ Osheaga 2015
08/09 – Palm Springs, CA @ Splash House
08/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest 2015
09/04 – New York, NY @ Electric Zoo
11/21 – Mexico City, Mexico @ Corona Capital

Kristen Grennan

Follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenGrennan Kristen Grennan joined Sensible Reason in the fall of 2010 while living abroad in France. She helped co-manage Binghamtronica Presented by Oxfam and HeadCount in March of 2011 and graduated from Binghamton University in May of 2012. Besides writing for Sensible Reason, Kristen taught English in Le Havre, France and is a backpacking hooper and hippie. Kristen is currently enrolled at Columbia University and is seeking a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in International Media, Advocacy, & Communications.

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