Man oh man, this has been a killer few weeks in music. This time around we're swinging on over to the Pacific Northwest and catching up with Portland's alt-pop duo, The Analog Affair.
All my previous summers are played back in my head with a supporting soundtrack; something enthralling and anthemic to support all the ridiculous scheming and spur-of-the-moment escapades that seem to engulf my time. The sort of songs that you jammed over and over, because they seem to capture that moment that you just want to cling on to and never let go of.
Vocalist Evan Baker and instrumentalist Cody Moser seem to understand this notion perfectly, and have made sure to carve out a certain raw and pulsating sound that's blended with infectious indie pop beats. Their sound has been featured in what seems to be an endless amount of leading brands worldwide, from Michael Kors, Belvedere Vodka, BBC, Samsung, Giorgio Armani, Swiss Airlines, and Hulu, to name a few.
I found it absolutely pressing to catch up with the duo, as I think it's very important that everyone hears this sort of engulfing sound, that I promise you will be on your summertime road trip playlists and unknown adventures. Perfect for fans of Chet Faker or Glass Animals, The Analog Affair are bound to get stuck in your head, and remain there to guide you on all the reckless lollygagging you're going to embark on.
I watched your music videos for Feel your Fire and Wild. They're both absolutely beautiful! The videos really captured childhood nostalgia, and give off the feeling where you feel completely and utterly alive. Like anything is possible. A lot of your music gives off that vibe too, and that's why the videos are so perfect. Even song names like Wild, Feel your Fire, Violent Young, and Ignite seem to all have this flair that makes you feel like a rebellious kid again. Which leads me to ask...what are you both inspired by? Are there any distinct places or people that inspire your music?
You nailed it on the head :) We definitely tried to create an upbeat, raw and vivacious tone on a lot of those tracks. Whether that was some freudian subconscious effort or simply compensating for the fact that we created those songs in a secluded/ separate way (up until recently we’ve always lived thousands of miles apart) and so we wanted to create that energy for ourselves. Either way, we had a blast doing it and we’re glad that so many people have enjoyed it. Also, we have to give a huuuuuge shout out to Iver Jensen and Hannah Suni and their friends for their work on the videos. They did a fantastic job crafting a narrative, putting their own twist on the music and bringing it all together. Check out their work if you get a chance!
Any distinct memories from childhood when you were both rebellious hooligans? Anything with a total sense of joie de vivre?
Racing around the west side with ghetto friends on bikes finding rad dirt trails and jumps! And skateboarding until the break of dawn around town on local business properties.
Speaking of childhood nostalgia, what did you guys listen to growing up? Anything surprising?
Evan: I had a healthy mix of a bunch of different genres: INXS, Peter Gabriel, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Dave Mathews, U2, Tom Petty, Suzanne Vega, System of a Down, John Pring, Mannheim Steamroller ;)
Cody: I remember going out and buying albums by Boyz II Men, Sublime, Sugar Ray, and Third Eye Blind. And being into 90's hip hop.
I recently saw a photo you posted that said that 218, 540 Spotify users streamed 9.2 years of your music. Not to mention the hits on your youtube videos. How do you think the online world has influenced how you get your music out there? Do you think it's made things easier?
Up until now, we’ve really only existed online so it’s been second nature to us and has definitely enabled us to become what we are today despite always having lived so far away from each other. We’re still constantly surprised at how our music has found a community on a place like Soundcloud, and especially Spotify! Because we’ve mainly been an internet thing, it’s always so funny for us to hear when friends of ours have been recommended they listen to us by their random acquaintances not knowing that we’re the guys who make the music.
Let's talk Portland. I'm heading there for the second time this summer and absolutely love visiting. It's totally bustling culturally! What are some key spots to visit? Some local gems we wouldn't know about? Can be absolutely anything.
Evan: Boba tea at Cartlandia, the Indian buffet at Namaste (across the river in Vancouver), themed DJ dance nights at the Good Foot, swimming and lounging on the Sandy River.
Cody: Roosevelt’s Terrariums, Tea Chai Te, KingPins Bowling Alley, The Hazel Room, Pistils Plant Nursery
Another thing we talk about on this blog is film. What are your favourite films? Anything we should check out?
Evan: We’re not exactly connoisseurs of fine cinema but do enjoy a lot of different styles - The Goonies, Snatch, Trainspotting, The Fall, Elf, Under Fire: The story of Tony Vaccaro.
Cody: I enjoy the Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino.
I really wanted to talk about We Were Lovers. It's a song that really sticks out to me, as it's somber and absolutely haunting. Kind of a bit more melancholy and filled with so much emotion. What is it about? What inspired that song? Anything you were going through at the time?
That’s a great question. The thing about our music up until now was it always was such a collaborative effort, with each of us having pretty defined roles, that the end result often ended up being something completely new from each of our individual emotions/intent. We both fed off of and interpreted each other through music. On WWL, lyrically and vocally speaking, we were trying to depict the feeling of being completely raw and rough around the edges after having been blindsided by the end or a change in a relationship. The verses are very calm, restrained, drawn out and polished and then the chorus suddenly explodes with raw emotion and a fair bit of chaos lyrically.
You guys released a phenomenal LP back in July. When You Go is awesome. You guys sound like a well-oiled indie electro-pop machine! What's next on the agenda now that that's complete?
Thanks! We spent A LOT of time trying to polish the album and it was a great learning experience. We’re both super interested in learning how to produce and engineer ourselves that When You Go gave us a great chance to experiment towards that end. Maybe we’re just jaded, but we take pride in doing as much ourselves as possible.
Having the opportunity now though to spend more time playing together and rehearsing rather than mixing in our own respective home studios, we’re slowly coming to realize that it may be a good thing to outsource the engineering so that we can focus more playing shows instead! So we’ve been meeting up regularly to rehearse in time for a few shows this spring and summer around Portland. You’ll have to come by when you’re in town and catch one! We’re also working on a new batch of songs.