Music Spotlight: Spazz Cardigan
Alt-pop artist Spazz Cardigan shares S.O.S., a pivotal track in his evolving sound. The track teases what we can expect to hear on his upcoming self-produced EP (set to be released in march): more of his enlivening guitar-influenced pop. We chatted with him about the release, his sound + playing live.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your recent release! Can you tell us about S.O.S. and what it means to you?
Spazz Cardigan: S.O.S. means a lot to me because it’s a sonic turning point from the songs I put out last year and a shift towards something more organic. I created a lot of songs last year, and there were loads of days where I was in rooms with producers who maybe didn’t totally understand what I was trying to create, so the productions would end up being super electronic or very run-of-the-mill pop. That came to ahead with me right around the time I wrote S.O.S. and decided to produce my new EP myself.
AM: How does it compare to some of your previous releases, like Nerves and Medicine?
SC: Lyrically it’s very much in the same vein—very much about anxiety, honesty and self-reflection; but sonically, it’s a step towards more guitar-influenced pop with some electronic surprises and ear candy. The production is much more focused on supporting the song.
AM: For first time listeners, how do you like to describe your sound?
SC: Alternative pop is a pretty good tag. It’s definitely pop songwriting, but I pull from a lot of alternative rock, rap, and some more avant-garde places in my instrumentals.
AM: Are there any consistent themes you typically pursue through your music?
SC: I focus a lot on communication. I end up feeling like an alien a lot of the time and feeling very despondent or outside of culture, so a lot of my writing is me trying to understand why we talk to each other the way we do or why we don’t talk at all.
a lot of my writing is me trying to understand why we talk to each other the way we do or why we don’t talk at all.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
SC: Right now, I’m sort of discovering Radiohead for the first time, which sounds ridiculous, but I just took them for granted my whole life and never actually listened to them until recently. I’m also in love with Smino, Phoebe Bridgers, 21 Savage, Now Now, Joey Badass, Oliver Tree, and the last 1975 record [A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships].
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self and your music?
SC: There’s a monastery in Kentucky I visited last April for a week that brought me a lot of peace—total silence, no phones, no schedule. I’m going to go back again this coming April, and I will probably keep doing that each year. I love being in the woods.
AM: You recently played a show at Madame Siam in Los Angeles. For people who haven’t been to a show, what can they expect to see?
SC: Energy. I try to finish the first song of the night drenched in sweat. I’m very focused on my live show, and curating a really cool moment with the fans. There’s a spoken word piece I do in my sets the changes night to night, and I really love letting each show morph a bit.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
SC: More songs, a new EP coming in March, and some wild shit on Twitter.