Brooklyn-based band Imaginary Tricks, the brainchild of Mike Visser, released their new four-track EP ‘Art Flakey‘ after a brief delay out of respect for the Black Lives Matter movement and current cultural climate.
Today, the frenetic, inventive collection brings a new an energy that is all its own.
The EP was produced by Sam Cohen and can trace clear reference points to indie rock, jazz, and experimental. It is a showcase for Visser who takes his skills at arrangement and musicianship to levels that will certainly surprise long time followers of his work.
As part of the release, Imaginary Tricks wrote a track-by-track for a live stream of the album on American Songwriter, sharing the inspiration behind the four songs.
Push play and read along. If you like what you hear, order it up!
Silver and Gold started with the verse riff goofing off in a DADF#BE tuning, in fact, all the songs I play come from goofing off and having fun. The process for me is like this: It starts with getting excited with an idea that I love, and then it blossoms, depending upon how much I nurture it and let it do its thing. It might develop into something, then getting the song in a room with Tim, the drummer, and banging it out for many hours till it feels really good. The melody I was singing was too low for my register so I capo’ed the 2nd fret and found the sweet spot. The chorus came and then it all kinda coalesced into the final thing. Whenever lyrics come I just sing the melody over and over and over till there are at least two options for each verse and start editing until I’m happy with it. For me, thinking too much about what to say makes everything go blank and bland, I like when sentences appear out of nowhere whilst flailing nonsensical gibberish out to fill the melodic pattern, and the moment there is a phrase or line I’m excited about, it feels sorta like a hazy trance and to be honest, it’s my favorite place to be in life. Sounds cliche and corny, but once I get there the song writes its self.
Believe It started out 10 years ago with the verse riff played at a totally different tempo and feel, it got put away until the idea of it being in its current tempo came to be. The process was the same except this time I went overboard with the bass. The song is kinda like one big bass solo, but I like it.
Le Fright started like that, too. I was looking outside noodling on something else, also on DADF#BE tuning, and played it by accident. I loved it and chased after it till it was done. I think there is also something to be said about the kinda empty feeling when it’s done. It’s always one part super fulfillment spiced with a drained feeling of sadness that it’s over. But luckily there are always more.
Art Flakey came from finding and goofing off in my favorite tuning ever. CF#CF#F#C. This one Tim and I really dug into, he came up with the beat and we pounded it out. The end is super fun to play live because we can stretch it out and get crazy with it. Lyrically speaking I had no interest in there being any story or narrative, just vague verses that made me feel creepy.