Free Association Debuts Their Self-Titled Album

Free Association is a new-ish rock band from Tulsa that began in January 2018. The band formed as an outlet for songs Joshua Ricks had written and grew from there with the addition of the rest of the band.

The name “free association” was picked because it emulates the freedom and lack of instruction in their songwriting. Rather than simply playing the song how it was originally imagined by one member, the layout is introduced and each member adds their own spin.

“I like to just play what I have written and let everyone in the group run with the feelings or impression the song left with them,” says Ricks.

“It [is] incredibly beautiful to see everyone in the group interpret the emotional message and feeling of each song and express that back in their own way.”

Free Association started recording their first album in August of last year, which they finished by the end of September. However, fans still had awhile to wait before any of the songs were ready to stream. It wasn’t until last month that the band officially shared their music on streaming sites.

The first song the band released off the album that unveiled today (August 16) was “Old Man” on July 1st. It was followed shortly after by “Circles” on July 26th. According to Ricks, the singles were chosen for their upbeat sound and ABAB format.

The record itself is apparently a collection of songs that don’t have a traditional format and blend between genres. The first description given to me was “retro psychedelic rock vibe” – a spot on description, in my opinion.

The first on the list is “Groovy Blue.” A light song, “Groovy Blue” comes across as positive and upbeat. The beat is steady and repetitive, the lyrics are relaxed and positive; every instinct while listening is to sway and “groove” along.

Next up is the previously released “Old Man.” Though this one continues a similar sound, the vibe is much different. Rather than coming across as relaxed and upbeat, the song sounds like it just came out of an old-time-y mystery film.

“Hurricanes and Floods” is third on the tracklist. Anxiety is at its highest with this song as the music flutters through, lyrics denoting a blue tale. However, the tone shifts about halfway through this almost-six-minute song from nervous to something akin to resignation.

The next six songs follow similar styles and themes. Each song is carefully crafted. By blending styles, the band achieves a dreamy sound – the kind of sound that lulls you into feelings, good and bad. Whether it’s the slower “First Friday” or the foot-tapping “Omniscient,” there’s a song for everyone in this album.

As if the songs themselves don’t span different styles,”Circles,” “Six Long Years,” and “Loving You” all feature a female singer in stark contrast to the other male-fronted songs. It’s a testament to their “free association” that different vocalists take lead in different songs; each member of the band gets to do their take.

Check out Free Association on all social media and music streaming sites and make sure to listen to their debut album below:

Kat Lock’s Debut EP, “You Again,” is the Hit of the Summer

Tomorrow, July 12, marks the release date for Kat Lock’s debut EP, You Again. Consisting of five songs, the EP is part one of two, with the second half set to release later this year. All of the songs were written in 2017 or earlier, so anyone who has been to one of her performances has probably heard at least one of them.

According to Lock, the concept is recognizing faults and attempts at self-growth. With hints of relationship drama and self-exploration, You Again is both powerfully emotional and a light listen. You don’t have to analyze the music to enjoy it or get the concept. There’s no flurry of instruments to back her up – just melodies that perfectly complement the strong vocals of Lock.

There were no specific influences, but she did mention that Jenny Lewis probably slipped in a little. (Quote: “She always does.”) She also wasn’t aiming for a specific genre; the EP is just her. Everything in it reflects a bit of her personality and thoughts – and it clearly comes across.

Each song is explained in Lock’s words below:

“Art: is about dating another songwriter.

Biggest Mistake: is an upbeat self sabotage bop. Sometimes you gotta do something stupid just to feel something.

Demitrius: was written for a friend that passed away a few years ago. (Guitar solo is played by Sam Wegryzynski of Ben Quad, formerly of St. Basic, forever my love.

Embarrassed: is that moment when you realize you’re over somebody and just how pathetic they actually are.

Someone Else’s Future (studio version): is an alternative version of the thematic song, one of the first songs I ever wrote! Helping myself get over someone by saying maybe it’ll work out in another life, cause I believe in stuff like that.”

“Biggest Mistake,” the single put out earlier this summer to give a taste of You Again, was actually not Lock’s favorite. In fact, she hated it. However, after reworking it, she eventually grew to love it; it was this tenacity that made her turn it into the summer bop it is.

The title, You Again, apparently comes from a line in “Someone Else’s Future” – “I’ll see you again in someone else’s future.” It stems from the feelings associated with certain people popping back up in life again and again.

Each song is well-written and personal. From start-to-finish, it is a beautiful record. When asked for final words on the EP, Lock claimed that “listening to this EP will clear your skin.”

So, you heard the lady; make sure you listen to You Again when it comes out tomorrow and check out Kat Lock on all social media and music streaming sites.

Join Kat Lock, One Two Ten, and Matt Jewett in celebrating the new music at 89th Street in OKC at 7 pm tomorrow, July 12, and make sure to listen to You Again.

Interview with VanRiss

During the Mayfest festival, I was able to ask singer/songwriter, VanRiss (Jonathan Van Risseghem), a few questions after his set.

How long have you been making music?

I made my first album, released it in 2009. Spent all 2008 writing and recording it. So, ten years I guess.

What made you decide you wanted to do music?

I still remember the first day when I was 8 years old and wrote my first song. I have always liked art of any kind and music just really, no pun intended, just struck a chord with me. From there on, that was my central passion in life. I’ve been doing it ever since. My first song was a really high quality christian-rap song, so I have come a long way from then.

Is this your first project that you actually released music from?

I had a band in high school. I wasn’t the singer, I was kinda writing the songs and letting someone else do it. He didn’t show up for studio session and out of angst, I just started singing on the songs and I went home and played it for some people. ‘I did this. Spite this guy,’ and people were like ‘I actually think you are pretty good, I think you should keep doing this.’ That was my segue from being a guitar player in a local band to writing and recording my own stuff, so it was an interesting process. Happy accident. 

You played a song that wasn’t on either of your already released albums. Are there plans to release it?

There are plans to release it this fall. It is called “Chandelier Tree.” There is this really cool tree near the Silver Lake/Los Angeles area that has a ton of chandelier trees in it, literally a chandelier tree. I was playing some shows in Los Angels and my wife and I had just had our newborn, she was four or five months old, and we had a little bit of time afterwards and it was our first sandwiched in little moment of time together for the first time in a few months of sleeplessness so I wrote a song about it.

Where can they find you?

All the links are on VanRiss.com

The Odyssey Talks “Lately”

Shortly after celebrating their single, “Love You Back” reaching 50k streams, The Odyssey released their newest single, “Lately”. In a brief interview, the band’s Cobey Brown discussed the song.

When describing the song, Brown claimed it was “interpretable”. The song is supposed to be about liking someone but not having the confidence to go after them. However, when recording it, Brown began to change it slightly to have an alternate meaning.

“When I wrote it, it was about an experience I hadn’t had,” he explained. “As we recorded the song, I actually had it.”

Going through the actual experience made him want to incorporate the emotions he felt. So, a double meaning was added; instead of just simply telling a story about a girl, he tries to portray what people show the world versus what they feel inside.

When listening to the song, you can hear this.

The beginning introduces the problem. He feels his “confidence shaking” as he tries to get close to this girl. Yet, at the same time, the song describes the turmoil of emotions spinning inside while he acts like everything is fine on the outside.

Every moment of the song is a big one. The lyrics are powerful and relatable; the melody is catchy and fitting. This apparently was the plan; Brown shared his goal with me of making every fifteen seconds contain something memorable.

The point of doing that is so people can listen to the entirety of the song. Instead of listening for one line or one piece of instrumental or even for just the chorus, he wants people to enjoy every moment of the song.

With “Lately,” I would say he accomplished exactly that. The song is one to be played on repeat; you won’t be able to just listen to it once.

Listen to “Lately” on all music streaming sites and make sure to follow The Odyssey on all social media to keep up with upcoming events.

https://open.spotify.com/track/0ryv0b84L4T0ZGdUinpSFr?si=GntOL-IhRWCoZ4TZTSXcAw