INTRODUCING CRAFTED SOUNDS! BEDROOM PROJECT OF MARYLAND NATIVE CONNOR MURRAY! RELEASING “CUTE” TAPES EVER SINCE CONNOR THOUGHT HE COULDN’T MAKE MUSIC HIMSELF….
THE BIRTH OF CRAFTED SOUNDS
Baltimore is cool because there is a lot going on musically, and everyone supports everyone no matter what they are doing…and a lot people distribute tapes. There was this band on Friends Records called Goblin Mold that only had music on cassette. I had to get it, even though I had no mode of playing it. I eventually hooked myself up with some 80’s hardware to play it and continued buying tapes from cool little labels. After I kinda failed at making music, I decided that I would start a label; a tape-based label. I messed around with a couple names and logos for a couple months, and reached out to people like Too Far Gone Records, DZ Tapes, Disposable America, Nebraskan Coast, etc… just to see how they went about doing things. I released my first tape the day I turned 18. I do everything out of my house right now (sorta where I got the logo), but I will be bringing the operation to University of Pittsburgh in the fall.
CHOOSING ARTISTS TO WORK WITH
I do not really go for a sound. The first two artists I worked with were friends of friends, and I happened to like the noise they were making. High Sunn hit me up on my prom night. I mean I make breakfast to Curtis Mayfield and trap to Yung Lean, so I am musically scattered. I really want to work with a female artist one day and maybe some cool synthy/electronic artist too. I am very open to not staying to one particular “sound”. I like reverb, and jangly guitars, and harmonies, and droning, and emotion, and sound that makes you want to dance/mosh/cry/hit someone. :))
THE TAPE RESURGENCE
I am a man and I say the word “cute”, and tapes are cute, and they allow an artist to really express themselves… more so than other mediums I think. I have seen a lot of different things as far as customization in everything from the tape itself to its packaging and it seems limitless. It is cool to see the tape move from one side of the cassette to the other side as the music transitions between the different programs. I really love the ability to hold it in your hand or put it in your pocket. I am sure its audio quality is not as nice as vinyl or CD-Rs, but that does not matter too much to me as long as I can hear most of the instrumentation and about 25% of the vocals, assuming they have purpose.
GOALS In my mind I want each release to fund the next one, so this can be a self-sustainable project. I am not trying to go for personal gain here. I really want to help emerging artists and be a stepping stone for something bigger in their music career. When I work with an artist, especially in this DIY era, I do not expect them to necessarily want to keep working with me because people meet new people all the time; I would like to work on a couple releases with at least one artist, though. I would ultimately like to do a vinyl release sometime during my sophomore year. The sky is the limit. At the end of the day I just want to be involved in music whether it’s by doing this or going to shows or being a total nerd.
PITTSBURGH MUSIC SCENE
I do not know a whole lot about it yet, since I haven’t really lived in it yet, but I am excited to check it out. I am seeing Horse Jumper of Love at some coffee shop in September, which will be dope because they are such a cool band on such a cool label. Also I may try to work with Surf Bored who I just met on twitter who is also going to Pitt. Check out his stuff. He’s a rad dude. At orientation, I heard of some house that hosts some small artists, but what do I know.
BANDS YOU WORK WITH
Flossy Clouds - If I made a film, I would want the music to be curated by Flossy Clouds. The composition of shy vocals and gentle drumming/drum machines overlapped by lighthearted guitar should comfort anyone. FC is the solo project off Will McGovern in Santa Fe, NM. Take a drive with your roadside companion and let the Moon Lighting drive you to your happy place.
Father Tribe - Father Tribe delivers the emotional tales of the complexities of life, in hopes to relieve the confused adolescent/young adult of their summer time blues. This is definitely a surf-popping group for sure. Kaden Vannorsdel is the father of this band, and is a super rad dude attending school at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
High Sunn - This man will be a senior this fall at some school in/around San Francisco, CA. Guitar-happy, impulsive songwriting is in. Sure, his vocals can be cleaned up, but not everyone has to be Yeezy, Justin Cheromiah (HS) knows how to write a fun dreamy rock song to get the kids, moving and that’s what matters.
Surf Bored - Even though people do not surf in the Steel City, Ryan Hartman is not going to let that stop him from writing lofi rock bangers in his basement. Surf Bored is about to take the world by storm this spring. His recently released Sweet Dreams on is just the start. Ryan, a perfectionist at heart, shows no signs of slowing down creatively anytime soon. In Ryan’s eyes, lofi will never die.
interviewed by AL SMITH