L.A. indie artist T. Soomian doesn’t write run-of-the-mill love songs. His romance anthems will get you moving and grooving.
His upcoming album Love Relief is named for the relief that comes when you find love. He’s already released two singles that are making indie lover hearts yearn for more. Inspired by Soomian’s wife, “When We Touch,” is an airy ode to effortless romance bouncing along on an infectious drum beat. “Can’t Hold My Love” has a more melancholic take on romance with a slow melody that dips into ‘70s disco pop.
Natural though it may seem, it’s the first time Soomian’s written an album based around love. Though the subject matter may be typical, Soomian’s sound is unique, with simple song structures similar to Mac DeMarco, only with a more Motown influenced sound. “I had this idea of doing songs you’d hear listening to random solo records or vinyl you find in $1 bins and you obsess over one track and the ‘bad’ albums turn out to be gems,” he says.
Soomian doesn’t plan on releasing anything more from the album until it’s finished. Until then, keep your heart content by reading the interview with T. Soomian below.
T. Soomian, “Can’t Hold My Love”
BTRtoday (BTR): Let’s talk about this upcoming album—why did you call it Love Relief?
T. Soomian (TS): I called it Love Relief simply because of the relief one feels after finding a person that brings them love. It also relates to the current political climate—we need healing whether it be music, meditation or escapism, although I’m not a political artist. (At the moment.)
BTR: Are any of the lyrics inspired by real life events?
TS: “When We Touch” is directly inspired by my wife. “Can’t Hold My Love” is a general feeling of the inability to play it cool when you meet someone and feelings arise. We all need to play the game but sometimes we suck at it. I’ve never written a love album or a collection of love songs, as common as it is, I’ve been enjoying it and I think people do too. Love doesn’t go out of style.
BTR: I love the magical ’70s vibe, who are some of your musical inspirations?
TS: I had this idea of doing songs you’d hear listening to random solo records or vinyl you find in $1 bins and you obsess over one track and the ‘bad’ albums turn out to be gems. Although that’s not necessarily going to translate clearly it was a thought I had floating for a while. As far as inspirations, Allah Las, the recent Arctic Monkeys album, Kevin Parker and Mac Demarco. Todd Rundgren’s Something / Anything? blows me away, too. Ruban Nielson has a fantastic style and sound. Jonathan Wilson totally had me floored with his first record—the recording quality and care of crafting the songs. And anything by George Harrison. Certainly not the ‘all in the box’ plasticity going on these days. You cannot deny the beauty a tape machine brings to a track. At the end, the tools don’t matter as much as emotions, but they do for me sonically.
BTR: How do you write your music?
TS: It usually starts on the guitar, more synth now. I loop a lot in my studio and play drums to 20 or so second loops. I wish I could stop there because that point is the highest joy, after that the work beings [laughs]. So I record a sloppy mish mash of ideas then refine over time. Before this album I’d do everything alone, now I have help from a really good engineer and friend Emil Adjamian. He’s my secret weapon. We share similar interest in gear, sound and feelings you get from a recording. We’re always learning and improving gear.
BTR: What are you working on right now? Are you experimenting with anything different?
TS: I’m working on finishing this album. The zeitgeist wants synths these days, we all love them, you can’t deny the beauty of an analog synth pad being played through effects. It’s gorgeous. I’m trying to incorporate my Tascam Portastudio more, doing more pop inspired vocals. I think, “What would Beyoncé or Justin Timberlake do?” without actually listening to them, if that makes sense.
BTR: Did you grow up playing music or was this a love you discovered later in life?
TS: I grew up with drums in the garage as my dad was a drummer/percussionist. Nothing professional, but he loved it and so did I. Drums are my highest love at the end of the day, but I really was inspired later in life to write songs and although there are tons of drummers out there writing great music, I thought the only way id be able to lead a group would be to sing and play guitar. That was much later in my mid-20s when that all started.
BTR: What got you into writing music in the first place?
TS: Hamps, a good friend of mine, introduced me to ‘cooler’ bands in high school, I’d go see bands like Hella and The Locust. He was my gateway. Going to tons of shows and showing my friends and I The Velvet Underground, The Kinks, The Zombies when we were still listening to Incubus or something. It was a major 180 that lead me to learn about who writes the music in bands, leaders, how things work etc. I asked him many many questions. [Laughs]
BTR: What should we keep an eye out for in the future of your music?
TS: I haven’t finished this album yet and I’m already super excited about the demos for album number two. I don’t want to go all-out synth-dominated like everyone seems to be doing because I love guitar hooks. So a nice blend of synths, guitar layers. Better sounds, stronger arrangements. I want to make people listen to a song 400 times because it’s so catchy like I do when I find a song I love, even if you’re over it in a week.