Though some people achieve coolness and many more have coolness thrust upon them, but it is a slim minority who are born cool. If you were going to him into one bracket, it’s pretty certain that unouomedude would be in the latter column. Though there are many hundreds of bandwagon chasing wannabes about trying to ape the ‘chillwave’ sound, the breezy ease with which the young Floridian pulls it off suggests he barely even tried, despite making what already sounds like one of the definitive releases of the year. Marsh EP has just been made available through bandcamp and AMDISCS, bringing the first wave of invention and guile to the genre since Washed Out et al caused bloggers to make the thing up a year or so ago. To celebrate, I asked the young man behind the project for his thoughts on the movement, his plans for the future whilst brushing on what it’s like to be a ‘buzz band’ that actually has an awful lot of talent.
Just to start off, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do:
Well, I’m Uno, I’m 19, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. I make pop songs and take photos; but I mainly make pop songs.
Every day you seem to be on another influential blog – Transparent, smokeDONTsmoke and Get off the coast have all done features on you, amongst many, many others. What’s it like having so many strangers write about you?
Its awesome! I’m glad I’ve been getting so much support. It also feels weird seeing myself on different blogs that I read and seeing people talk about me but not to me. It’s a strange change, but a good one.
Despite this current flood of attention, it seems like you’ve been making music for quite some time – you’ve put out an album of sorts , ‘Collections – Volume 1’, which features tracks you say you recorded between 2007-2009. Why has it taken so long for your talents to gain recognition? where have you been?
Well honestly I just don’t think my older stuff was as well crafted. When I hear some of those songs now I can’t help but to think “I should have changed this thing here” so that’s why I put it out as a collection rather than an LP. I had some people listening to my stuff then, but not nearly as many as now. After I took a break from releasing music to craft my skills I came back with some new tracks and sent them to a few blogs, then those blogs posted about it and other blogs got it from them. It’s just been taking off since then.
Of course, like anything that is in the slightest bit electronic at the minute, you’ve been branded as ‘chillwave’ by many. What are your thoughts on the whole glo-fi etc. scene? And are you comfortable being a part of it?
Haha, I don’t know, I’m okay with it. In my head I think of ‘chillwave’ and ‘glo-fi’ to be different things. I think of chillwave to be more sample-based, hazy, nostolgic, electronic music, and glo-fi as just lo-fi dreamy music. They’re probably the same thing though, I have no clue. I don’t really use samples besides some percussion sounds. A lot of people think the riff in “Dream Home” is a sample but it’s not, Its just a synth in the background, guitar, bass, and electronic drums. I think genres are just used to easilly group similar minded music, and I dig a lot of the other musicians who are in the same ‘category’ as me, so I’m totally fine with it.
And you’re from Jacksonville, Florida. How much of an influence do you think the area has had on your work? Is there a cohesive movement going on there at the minute?
There are some awesome bands here, but I don’t think there is much of a movement going on here. Unless I just don’t know about it, which is possible. A lot of the stuff on ‘Marsh’ is about my old friends here, so those songs have some Jacksonville influence in them. There isn’t too much to do here so Jacksonville isn’t that interesting.
You’ve just put out Marsh EP. Is there a main focus of the release? What’s it about?
It’s basically just about memories, dreams, summer, and fun. I wanted to include descriptions of my favourite times hanging out with friends so I could always look back and remember them. Other songs are just based off of dreams that remind me of fun times. With the music, I just wanted to make summery pop music.
With all that hype about, is there any news on a long player? What can we expect in the future?
Hopefully I’ll be able to work on an LP. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay consistent long enough to make songs for an LP but I’m definitely going to give it a try. I have a few new projects in the works right now, but everything is kind of up in the air so we’ll see whats next.
Another thing: I’ve searched about but been unable to find any reviews or evidence of you playing live shows. is it something you’re planning on going into? Is there a lot of pressure for solo, electronic acts like yourself to go into the playing live? Or are you already doing it and I’ve just missed a load of rave reviews?
Ha, no I don’t play shows right now. I played a couple in 2007, but not since then. I’ve been asked to play some shows lately and unfortunately, I had to temporarily turn them down. I want to wait until I get a good live setup to start playing shows again. I’m sure it will be worth it for myself and others when I start again though.
I was reading something the other day about how we are all the culmination of the culture we imbibed as children. If that’s the case, what would you say you are?
I’d say I agree. I still listen to some of the music I grew up on and I still watch some of the same shows. I still see some of the media I consumed early in life involved in the things I do now. So guess I’m a Degrassi-loving punk rock ghostwriter.
Last thing: any bands that you’d recommend?
There are too many good bands to recommend! Well there’s Star Slinger, Teenage Reverb, Phillip Oskar Augustine, Persona La Ave, Kiss Kiss Fantastic, Ricky Eat Acid, Bijan Allen, Horray!, and so many others that I’m going to feel guilty for not mentioning.