Brooklyn-based (by way of Medfield, Massachusetts) visual artist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Pope has been sitting on a pile of music for the past three years, and is now slowly releasing it in parts. He compares the series, titled “Souvenirs and Astronauts,” to a collection of short stories, where each of the six “stories” (or EPs) has chapters (songs). In a way, they’re akin to personal journal entries; the first EP One Thousand Things, for example, references a self-imposed challenge to see if Pope could make a list of a thousand things. “It ended up being not only more difficult than I anticipated, but therapeutic,” Pope tells CH. “Sometimes you just need to be doing something—something you can sink your teeth into, whether it’s cooking a meal or learning harmonica or compiling a list of 1000 things. And then, you’re fine.” CH premieres the second part of the series Good Friends, now streaming on Bandcamp, which includes five very different songs. From the gritty filtering in “Dig” to the female guest vocalist wailing in “Belong,” the bedroom tracks are intimate and intricate—even if sometimes the polished aesthetic can feel a little unnatural.
Earlier this March, Pope co-founded Odd Gift Records, a community of musicians turned into a cooperative label. “This label was a way to help motivate each other make more substantial impressions with our releases, and team up to add dimension to our live shows. We’ve divvied up all the jobs, and everyone has their own responsibility on top of rocking out and kicking butt,” says Pope, whose job as artistic director (aka “arts and crafts”) has led to fun souvenirs like “cat hair pills”—one of the many different Odd Gifts given away to concert-goers. “We meet every week to drink beers and discuss good hiding spots for the ludicrous amount of money we’re making,” he says. Odd Gift Records’ next record showcase takes place 13 November 2015 at Lot 45 in Bushwick.
Images courtesy of the artist