Locally Grown: Soft Metals
"If our music were a place it would probably look a lot like a Yayoi Kusama infinity room."
Positioned behind a collection of electronic instruments form the 1980s and 90s, Los Angeles duo Soft Metals make the kind of dance music that is "beat driven and good for losing yourself on the dance floor," as front woman Patricia Hall puts it. "Futuristic, modern and fresh" are other words that come to her mind when asked to describe their throbbing, evocative electronic sound. The pair first cropped up on music blogs in early 2010, netting features on taste-making blogs like 20 Jazz Funk Greats and Gorilla vs. Bear. The rave reviews led to a deal with Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, known for releasing the likes of Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing and Thieves Like Us, among many other underground darlings. Soft Metals have racked up an impressive string of gigs since their formation, playing alongside Glass Candy, Chromatics, Cosmetics, Neon Indian, Teengirl Fantasy, Blouse, Tearist and most recently, Pictureplane. This coming August will mark a year since the couple made the move to the City of Angels from the rainy streets of Portland, OR. Here we speak with Hall about their blog ascension, move to LA and what the future holds.
How would you describe Soft Metals' aesthetic?
Patricia Hall: If our music were a place it would probably look a lot like a Yayoi Kusama infinity room. Dark, reflective, cosmic, modern, infinite, timeless, spacey, inspiring wonder, introspection.
How do you title your songs?
The songs always begin as free form jams Ian and I make together. After listening back to these sessions I'll get a feeling from the music and get ideas for a lyrical theme. Sometimes the titles are words from the lyrics. Sometimes they relate to the feeling I got from the music in a vague conceptual sort of way.
What role do you feel blogs have played in your career as a band?
Blogs have helped us a lot. When Ian and I only had one song written and recorded our friends in The Miracles Club put our first song up on their blog, Ecstasy. It got reposted on Gorilla vs. Bear and then on a bunch of other blogs from around the world. We started getting contacted by labels and soon afterwards we began working with Captured Tracks who are one of the best indie labels in the world.
What are your favorite things the city has to offer?
We love the good Mexican food, sunny days, being close to the ocean and the desert, the cultural diversity. There are so many talented people here doing things on a grand scale. It's very inspiring.
What are your future goals as a band?
We really want to tour more and travel around the world. We also want to finish writing new songs much quicker that we have been. We recently moved our studio back into our home which will mean we will be so much more productive now.