Will (left) and Adam (right)
Just a couple of kids jamming in bedrooms, Thermoluminescence have released their shockingly good ambient electronica album- TODAY!
Entirely self-produced and two years in the making, DISCODISCODISCODISCO is fantastic. “Joyously melancholic” is an apt description from a friend of theirs, and this strong album fearlessly juxtaposes amazing ambience, uplifting and catchy tunes and eerie yet calming ups and downs. I’d recommend it for a Halloween house or dinner party, rather than a club. The songs are so distinct they made me want to dance, hum, and concentrate at different times. I imagine their first live shows, planned for early 2014, will be epic and transportive, and they have a pop edge.
But, not that kind of pop edge. Adam has articulate views on the competitive nature of music a la X Factor: “The competition thing is just really ugly and weird. Pitting artists against each other,” he says, “A release from Sony and a release from EMI are going to be directly competing for sales if they’re released in the same week, and that’s really weird to me. Art really isn’t a competition, so to boil it down to number of sales, number of awards, and number of twitter followers is a bizarre way to approach an art form. We’re not really part of that whole thing if we choose to stay out of it.”
Adam Glasspool was originally doing alt rock music in bands when he developed his “stupid little side project to get rid of the more experimental music things I had in my head.” Unexpectedly, his second album, a free download, took off and he, and band mate Will Bowles, started to talk about record labels, “but we were worried about the level of creative control we could maintain,” he says.
“We have a pretty counter intuitive approach to how ‘big’ we want to become as a band. I can’t imagine a record label would be too happy with the idea of limited growth. So I hastily set up a record label – Poles Apart Records to release stuff on – just to make it official. We were thinking about the future too, especially in regards to control over our own music. Right now we can pick where we’d like to go for album number four and how long it will take us to get there.”
Thermoluminescence, made up of experimental 20-somethings Adam Glasspool and Will Bowles, are a band with a clear idea of where they want to go – and no further, if it means selling out their independence and passion. They are a fine – and sweetly humble – example of awesome art from today’s entrepreneurial creative generation, and my favourite quotation ever:
“The first step – especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money – the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Thermoluminescence create music for the pure love of it, if I have judged the incredible, brave freedom of this album correctly. I like most songs yet every song is different, it sent chills down my spine, made me want to dance, and inspired me to work, all at once. My personal favourite is Stop Worrying – it simply had me grooving before I even stopped to appreciate its complexity and deft key changes and mood shifts. Round+Round has a music video on youtube today – watch it!
Adam admits he has evolved, from making “shitty dance music on my own” to a self-assured duo with Will with great music videos and plans for the live shows. “I know I’m more proud of this album than I have anything I have ever done,” he says.
Download the full album at http://thermoluminescence.bandcamp.com and pre-order the CD with bonus music and full artwork exlusives for January 2014.
I’m going to their show – you coming?