Week in Pop: Baywitch, Laurel Saints, unhappybirthday

Sjimon Gompers

Stockton sons Laurel Saints, from left, Jose Medina & Marcos Gonzales; photographed by Jameel Rasool.

Nearby Pastures

Getting to know Spencer A. Simmons, oka Nearby Pastures; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Orange County’s Spencer A. Simmons cut his teeth performing along with various acts unto deciding to go the road solo as Nearby Pastures, readying the forthcoming debut Loose Teeth EP for Breakup Records where the artist delivers a cycle of self-recorded/produced/engineered power pop. Spencer’s Pastures purvey territories of electric brewed hymns that blur and bend with sublime wonders like “The Price of a Grave”, the NYC groove of “Wages of Labor”, to the destitute dualities of “Partners in Crime” that riff & point to rad new breakthroughs in the O.C.

Which brings us to the world premiere for the visual of the lead off track from Nearby Pasture’s EP with “We Don’t Talk” that illustrates a day in the life of Mr. Simmons. A perfect song to begin any release with, it provides the perfect introductory component that illustrates the frustrations of waking up, leaving the company of a loved one, discovering a ticket on your pick up, leaving you to board your way to work. Catching the local Glendale transit en route to work, we see Spencer & friend living parallel lives-both traveling toward their respective occupational directions and the disparity between each other’s jobs. Moments of introspection are seen in the expressions of the two as they go about their day, Spencer working at a warehouse and opposite who works as some kind of photographer/fashion boss. The convergence and cross-sections between the two different worlds are seen as separate lives with separate stories that intersect as Spencer sings out those feelings and pained thoughts that were never expressed from a previous relationship paradigm. “We Don’t Talk” exhibits both the disconnect and those chance points where humans do indeed find a connection despite going through our lives amid constant distractions. This is a song about starting new dialogues, about moving onward & forward with a song that shares a whole lot of infectious heart. Join us after the video debut for our interview session with Nearby Pasture’s Spencer Simmons.

Getting to know Nearby Pasture’s Spencer Simmons; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Describe how Nearby Pastures came to be.

Nearby Pastures started as a side project. I started writing my own songs while playing in other bands as a supporting musician, knowing there wouldn’t be a place for my material in their repertoire. I didn’t want my efforts to go to waste, so I came up with the pseudonym Nearby Pastures to act as an orphanage for these songs. I didn’t think my own name sounded cool enough to be the title of a band. The name refers to suburban values. The struggle to become a high earner in order to have that nice car, nice amenities, a mansion in a safe, beautiful neighborhood, but the beauty will always be something out there. Something just out of reach while you’re slaving away just to feel like you have it.

Tell us about the romance in transit video for “We Don’t Talk”, and the inception behind the song.

“We Don’t Talk” represents some of the internal dialogue I had with myself while getting over a past relationship. It’s a pretty accurate depiction of the way things were, and in a way acts as a message to that person; all the things that were never said. For the video, I wanted to throw the viewer off. I wanted them to assume the two characters were living out the song, only to find out that they were in fact meeting each other for the first time. The video tells the story of two separate, broken people moving on and finding new love, versus sharing the same plot as the song.

Behind the scenes with Nearby Pastures; press photo.

What was the process of making the Loose Teeth EP like?

The process behind the making of this record was intimate. I had just finished a west coast U.S. tour with the Mozzies, a lo-fi garage rock band, so it was my first chance to really get personal with my songwriting in a long time. I produced everything in my bedroom, from writing to final mixes. I had done this before with my first EP, I Just Have Something in my Eye, but Loose Teeth would be my first album with electric instruments and full band arrangements. It was my first time using a hardware drum machine, which was new and exciting.

Next moves for Nearby Pastures?

My release show is July 26th, and I plan to get many more shows on the books this summer. I’ve been writing new material and recording demos, and am excited to see what will come together for the next release.

Nearby Pastures’ Loose Teeth EP will be available July 28 from Breakup Records.

Catch Nearby Pastures playing July 26 in Costa Mesa, California at The Wayfarer

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