Indie + alternative music culture depends on dedicated artists who create diversity & drive innovation in all aspects of songwriting, production & performance. We constantly feature new & notable independent acts on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: Lando
Among the Clouds is the debut EP from Seattle-based psych group Lando. In it the group plays with classic psych-pop patterns elevated with experimental synth and accented with intelligent percussion. Lando evokes bands like Dr. Dog, XTC, Of Montreal, Tame Impala, and White Denim. Recorded in the spring of 2016 at Fastback Studios with Jason Lackie, the EP showcases strong performances from its three members.
Ryan Bedard (guitar, vocals & piano) uses melodic vocals that contrast his existential and sometimes melancholy lyrics. Bedard was notably a featured artist on billboard sensation Macklemore’s 2016 album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Jacob Jones (bass & synths) brings in hints of noise, adding texture and dynamics. Landon Cross (drums) adds warmth and precision.
We recently talked with Ryan, Jacob & Landon to get their take on alternative culture. Read on to find out more about your next favorite artist.
Comments From The Curating-Editor
Lando is an infectious psych-infused indie rock outfit based in Seattle, Washington. Reminiscent of Foxygen, Angel Olsen and Mika in their sound aesthetic, the group combines winding guitar support, synth glimmer, and effective-affected vocals. Their latest Among The Clouds EP expertly juxtaposes winking, upbeat melodies with downtrodden yet passionate lyrical themes. My favorite off their 4 song EP is the soulful Calico, a track that’s textured well with grooving bass, choral harmonics, and accented percussion ornamentation– essentially a tri-colored sonic patterning that purrs quite well. There’s passion in Bedard’s vocals that’ll just have you self-reflecting as you’re rocking to-and-fro to the beat.
What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?
Jake: Pink Floyd-Wish You Were Here. I absolutely love that album. The guitar work on “Diamond,” the synths on “Machine,” the guest vocals on “Have a Cigar,” it’s all great. 71′-77′ era Floyd is one of my biggest inspirations. They changed the face of music, and I find that totally inspiring.
Ryan: The Beatles, Revolver. Its musical diversity and pop sensibility impacted me so deeply that it has become album by which I judge other albums.
Landon: alt-J – An Awesome Wave. It hit me at just the right time in my life and was so different from anything else I’d heard. I’ve had albums where I never skip a song but nothing that felt as cohesive and whole as An Awesome Wave. Thom Green’s drumming is a huge inspiration to me, and their use of interludes just perfect for bridging the gaps in mood between songs.
What are your fondest musical memories?
Jake: Jamming to The Floyd in the car with my dad when I was a kid, that, and then again in my head phones in dimly lit rooms as a teenager. I really like Pink Floyd.
Landon: Honestly, once I started smoking weed in high school I began listening to way more music and on a much broader spectrum. Other than that I was super into marching band and had some of the best teachers in the business. I learned a lot about what it means to be a performer, the difference between practice and rehearsal, and just how much fun playing music can be.
Ryan: I feel most satisfied artistically when I feel that I’ve stumbled upon an effective melody. Since I feel that everything else flows from the melody, it makes me excited to move forward and complete a song.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener
Landon: Lately I’ve been listening to a bunch of random stuff from the late 60s and early 70s, Moondog, Gandalf, Sweetwater, and Caravan to name a few. As for more contemporary music, I love dancing to Dan Deacon’s Gliss Riffer in my room while I clean.
Ryan: I have a map of the Earth at work, and I’m trying to listen to the traditional folk music of each country, one after the other. I “X” off the countries whose music I’ve heard.
Jake: I’m digging contemporary music at the moment. There has been a ton of good stuff coming out just within the past few years. Frank Ocean’s latest is dope, Jagwar Ma’s “Howlin” never finds it’s way far from the top of the record pile. (That’s just for imagery. I don’t actually stack my records. I’m not an animal.) Also rumors have been flying around about a new OutKast album…I’m pretty stoked about that possibility.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process? Is there a particular message or theme central to your creative works?
Jake: Our creative process is like throwing a few badgers in a barrel with a hornets nest and rolling it down a hill. We argue and debate things constantly, but we are really good about not taking it personally. We know at the end of the day we all want to do the same thing: Make interesting music that people enjoy listening too.
Landon: Our process is not mormon-friendly. It’s loud and negative. The goal is to just keep doing different things.
We’re a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe your city’s music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
Landon: I’d say Seattle is maybe a little oversaturated. At pretty much any point downtown you’re a stones throw from a bar with live music which is good and bad, easier to get shows, harder to stand out. Also nobody pays, but that’s probably the same whatever city you’re in.
Ryan: Seattle’s music scene is certainly diverse and widespread, though I wouldn’t really lump us into it. We stay in our practice space mostly.
How would you describe your visual aesthetic, in terms of album artwork, music videos, and artistry? How does the music you create contribute to your visuals? Does this extend to your live show experience?
Ryan: Jake likes flowers.
Landon: Janky Psychadelia
Jake: It’s basically whatever I can whip together using paint and picture preview on my Mac. We did however out source the cover for the E.P. We were able to work with this cat out of the UK, Steven Lear, he operates under the moniker “Why The Long Play Face?” His work is pretty far out.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
Jake: Personally, I am all about free music. I will freely admit with zero guilt that I illegally download music. If I like your music, I will pirate your album. That being said when that artist comes to town, I will go to their show, buy a physical copy of their album, t-shirt, or whatever, because at least that way I know my money has a better chance of finding its way into the artists pocket. As a band we are way open to the idea of free digital music. For us it’s about getting our music into as many people’s ears as possible.
Ryan: Sharing music online is great because it allows anyone to get their music to anyone at any time. If your song catches on, it can explode overnight. It also sucks for this reason. As the distribution process becomes more decentralized, it becomes much harder to stand out above the rest.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
Ryan: I’d like to collaborate with someone who was renowned at a type of music about which I know next to nothing. Say, and expert in medieval lute. I wouldn’t come into the collaboration full of my pre-conceived biases so I’d have a mind fresh and receptive to new ideas.
Jake: Probably for Ryan to collaborate with Macklamore. Oh, Wait…
Landon: I would love to play with Kevin Parker, that dude knows how to jam.
Which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
Ryan: I keep listening to “To Sir with Love” by Lulu. I don’t know why but it’s always going through my head. “Those schoolgirl days of telling tales and biting nails are gone…”
Jake: My buddy Dan Gardea from Coke Nails wrote this song “I Only Wanted You” I don’t think there is a recording of it anywhere but I play it to myself on bass all the time. So, yeah, go check out Coke Nails. Oh and the Shanghais, they are a power pop dream team out of San Fransisco.
Landon: I’ve been drumming to this tune by The Shaolin Afronauts called “Caravan to Tao Ceti.” It’s 6/4 feel with a lot of the drum phrases going over the bar line and releasing on different counts. Lovely nerdy drumming stuff and great jamming material. As for people to check out, Clark and the Himselfs. Some tight psychedelic indie-rock from this dude who plays drums, guitar, and sings at the same time. I picked up a vinyl of his album when we played a show with him and I’ve been loving it.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
Jake: We are heading back into the studio soon to record a follow up to our E.P. Among the Clouds. I’m excited to see what we are able to do with these new songs in the studio. Our Engineer, Jason Lackie, is just wonderful, and he has a good understanding of what we are trying to accomplish sonically. It’s great to work with someone who is able to take our abstract ideas and translate them into a “sound”.
Follow Lando on Bandcamp