Members: Brian Noyeswatkins (Keys, Guitar, Vocals), Jake Brady (drums), Dillon Sturtevant (Bass, Vocals)
Label: Plume Records
Booking: Lynne Angel, Duck Club Touring
Links: bandcamp / facebook / twitter / soundcloud / iTunes / spotify
Tomten is a trio from Seattle, Washington. Often described as baroque or dream pop for their prominent use of organ, electric piano and analog synthesizers, they share a wide influence from early power-pop to electric folk. The band formed in 2008 when singer/keyboardist Brian Noyes-Watkins met original bassist Lena Simon at art school. The two began recording demos in the practice rooms, and started performing regularly in 2010 after drummer Jake Brady joined. Their debut full-length Wednesday’s Children was released in June of 2012.
Recorded on an old 16-track Tascam in a small Seward Park studio over the course of July the year prior, Wednesday’s Children is a keen plate-reverbed excursion over a soundbed of Leslie organs, Rhodes, chiming guitars, and 3-part harmonies. Following the release of Wednesday’s Children, Tomten began work on their follow-up album, The Farewell Party, recording with engineer/producer Jason Quever (Papercuts) during the summer of 2013 in Sacramento and San Francisco. The singles off The Farewell Party displayed a stronger focus on songwriting as well as production. The Farewell Party was released August 19th 2014 on Seattle label Versicolor, with a following US Tour.
Tomten now features Brian Noyes-Watkins (keys, guitar, vocals), Jake Brady (drums), and Dillon Sturtevant (bass, vocals). After releasing a single in May of 2015, “Bitter Pill” b/w “Humdrum Doom Song,” the trio is preparing to release their third full-length Cremation Songs on Seattle label Plume Records on July 9th, 2017 on CD, vinyl, and digital formats.
Tomten began work on Cremation Songs last April, taking their time to complete the record over about eight months. “I first thought of the name Cremation Songs as a bit of a joke to poke fun at our previous record The Farewell Party,” says Noyes-Watkins. “It later dawned on me that it fit the songs well, seeing as most are vaguely about death in some way or another, excluding ‘First Song of Spring’ and ‘Mette’s Tune.’ I just hope our next record doesn’t mark the Born Again / Embracing a Cult phase.”
“I became obsessed with drawing extended arms (usually blue) posing inside of little boxes,” Noyes-Watkins reveals about the cover artwork. “I did a few versions: a hand drowning in the sea, another with a crystal ball, one juggling a rainbow. I settled on the apple/applecore because I liked the idea of having a sunrise/sunset theme on the jacket. I’m hoping to complete a collection of 20 or so to release in a booklet for a limited edition of the record.”
Cremation SongsTrack Listing:
01 Grand Guignol
02 Cloud Man Calling
03 Laurent’s Tomb
04 Limbo’s Daughter
05 For the Worse
07 King of Viridia
08 First Song of Spring
09 Leaving Joyous Gard
11 Mette’s Tune
12 Ballad of Bluebell
13 Still Life With Sylvie