T.W. Walsh is a man of high repute. With a career in music that has touched influential indie artists via his mastering and production work he can boast credits on countless albums from Sufjan Stevens an Nathaniel Rateliff. His own projects in beloved band Pedro the Lion, and under the moniker Soft Drugs have produced some of his generations' thoughtful and best alternative music.
Poised to release a new album, Terrible Freedom, Walsh has created another collection of tunes with their fingers on the pulse of the current cultural climate, T.W. Walsh has dropped a new track called "Dropout" ARTISTdirect caught up with the Walsh and invited him to intro the new track and offer a little insight into it's composition and production.. check out the track below, and read from the man himself...
"I started working on “Dropout” a while back, and I had worked up a pretty cool guitar, bass and drums version. As the rest of the record started coming into focus, a more synthetic sound was developing. Ultimately, I decided to rearrange the song with that approach in mind, and that’s how this synthesizer-heavy version came to be.
The drum sound is based around the Oberheim DMX, a unit introduced in the 1980s. Drummers cursed the introduction of drum machines into popular music in the late 70’s out of job security concerns, but it opened up a world of new possibilities. Hip hop especially benefited from creative use of these units in combination with samples. A lot of the top session drummers became known as expert beat programmers during this time. As a drummer and engineer, I appreciate the sonic possibilities that drum samples and machines offer. It’s really hard to get an impactful drum sound with a live kit, but samples are easy to work with and can really have a lot of punch. You just gotta work the arrangement towards having a human groove, within the context of the technology.
Lyrically, like a lot of my songs, it’s more free-poetry than concept album. The main gist is that in order to get yourself together you have to lose yourself. And to do that, it helps to re-contextualize. Just take a step back and coast for a while.
I started this album without any specific direction. I worked quickly and didn’t second guess myself. The result is a very direct, unapologetic expression without any filters or qualifiers. No one else could have or would have made this record. That’s the way it should be."