Benjamin Tyler likes to experiment with ethereal electronic soundscapes but has a penchant for perfectly placing that danceable beat as he dabbles in his own brand of live band EDM. Small Skies is the drummer’s ongoing solo project (maybe you’ve caught him providing percussion for Gold Casio or Explode Into Colors at their one-off reunion last October) that offers him ample opportunity to follow his own path as a digital noisemaker.
Tyler dropped his debut record of future pop in the summer of 2014 so Small Skies is due for a dance party this summer. And sure enough, “Candy” is the first single off his sophomore album called Build. “The title comes from the idea of building the world you need to find yourself and how no one can ever take that from you,” Tyler explains. Set for release in early September with a gig at Mississippi Studios, Tyler is ready to celebrate this first single’s release—and so are the venerable folks over at PDX Pop Now!
Selected as one of 40 tracks from rising local acts as well as scene standouts—including Rare Treat (EYRST's Neill Von Tally, Myke Bogan and The Last Artful, Dodgr), Turtlenecked, Lubec, Blue Cranes featuring Laura Gibson, Small Million, LEO ISLO and many, many more—to be spotlighted on the volunteer-run, festival-throwing nonprofit’s annual #PDXmusic compilation, Tyler and Small Skies will headline the all-ages comp release party at Holocene on Sunday, July 9.
As for the track, “I wanted this song to be a fun, tongue-in-cheek story about being young and madly in love with someone who doesn't know you even exist, a feeling I know all too well—although I'm about to marry the woman of my dreams so it's been a while!” Tyler tells. “It's also about trying to overcome that feeling of inadequacy rejection can bring.”
“I started writing and recording the skeleton of ‘Candy’ at my home,” Tyler begins. The track went from practice spaces (where Danny Staton laid down his six-string electric Fender Bass VI parts) to Eli Savage’s studio (where he recorded his own synth parts) to Revolver Studios where the drums were added, recorded by Collin Hegna. “It's kind of crazy how much we tossed this song around!” Tyler recounts. “When the instrumentals were recorded, I took them to the Funky Church in SE Portland where Brock Grenfell (my bandmate in Gold Casio) recorded vocals and produced the song along with the rest of the album.”
As Tyler and Small Skies look to integrate all the new instruments into the live show and prep for the release of Build this September, you can get your first taste of this new #PDXmusic alongside other 2017 PDX Pop Now! comp-featured acts A Certain Smile and Fire Nuns.