Listen Up! Premiere: Shortcircles X Parks Burton

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If you haven’t swooned today but are open to the possibility, try listening to “Windows” by Shortcircles X Parks Burton. These West Coast knob-twisters are kicked back, laid back and strummin’ on heartstrings. File next to How to Dress Well and the “Portlandia” theme.

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Shortcircles–also a professional video game scorer and recording engineer–spoke to us about how he teamed up with singer Parks Burton by accident in Los Angeles and where to chill on a Sunday in Oakland.

Images are courtesy of Shortcircles and Kristina Kassem.

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We needed a place to crash for the L.A. Boiler Room session I did with Plug Research, and friends hooked us up with Parks Burton’s place. He played me his music and I was blown away by his production style and voice. After we spent the weekend in L.A., I went back to Oakland and just started bugging him. I sent him tracks and he totally got it. He laid down scratch vocals and I thought they were finals. He’s amazing.

For “Windows”, it was a vibe. I emailed him the basic idea of the song. Then he sent me vocal ideas and it changed the whole direction. We end up in a place neither of us planned on. Our style can go a lot of different directions. It’s a weird mixture.

Oakland is a creative city. Everyone makes music. Everyone I run into on the street has a new project, and they’re down to listen to your songs if you have ’em.

I’m inspired by digging for records, usually for R&B, jazz and New Age at this store called Groove Yard, which has been around forever. The guy there knows me by now. He pulls records he thinks I’ll like. It’s a good place to go especially on a Sunday. Hang out, listen to music in the store, buy some records. That really puts me in the zone. That’s where I get ECM jazz records; that’s where I got into Michael Stearns’s “M’Ocean,” this amazing New Age record. Just buying records and listening to them–and then I start making music from there.

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–Andrew Matson

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