Originally formed in 2005 by Eugene Suh and Brandon Dudley in San Francisco, California, ECHODRONE has been praised by both critics and peers alike for having mastered the process of recording catchy and dreamy songs remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their latest effort, “Resurgence” follows the critically acclaimed album “Everything Starts To Be A Reminder” (2019, Dome A Records). Resurgence comes across as a journey that takes you from the dark, crushing confusion of the world to shining moments that poke through like sunrays piercing the clouds when you need it most.
Echodrone’s new songs came to life during the chaos of 2020’s pandemic as well as heated political climate as a way to reflect the musician’s collective inner souls and cope with the isolating lockdown. The result is an album that was created without boundaries, pure heart, and some serious wiliness to let go and run with what felt natural versus what was expected.
The sudden pause of daily life due to the pandemic, brought the members of the band closer together. After several weeks of exchanging ideas and emotions, Eugene Suh started to assemble new songs from his home in Boston, MA. as a way to release the confusion stemming weight of unpredictability. Fellow Bostonian drummer Andy Heyer joined Eugene to help round out the songs in the studio. Each song was then bounced via file-sharing from band member to band member until the tracks were a perfect reflection of the member’s inner collective souls and emotional state of minds. Brandon Dudley recorded bass from his home in Huntington Beach, California, Mike Funk infused his electronics and synths in San Luis Obispo, California, and Jackie Kasbohm recorded and sang her heart out from her home in Seattle, Washington.
While the band is peppered all over The United States – one thing comes across clearly – total dedication and respect for one another and creating songs that are immensely melodic and constantly shifting and morphing. It is by sheer passion for creation that allowed the band to artistically shine during unprecedented times and create their new album, Resurgence. Today, we’re giving you a glimpse into it, with a brand new single and music video “Jaded“!
Comments the band: “Written during the COVID shutdowns of 2020, our new album Resurgence was a compositional exercise of intuition over intellect. Given the highly cerebral insanity that was happening in 2020, the songs on Resurgence were attempts to let emotion and heart guide the songwriting process, rather than our brains. It was our own emotional refuge from the chaos and ugliness around us.”
Asked about the recoding process, ECHODRONE adds: “Resurgence was recorded remotely. We all have home studios where we record our individual tracks, and we went to The Bridge Sound and Stage in Cambridge, MA to record piano and drums. All the tracks get sent to Colin Christian (a.k.a. Wires and Noise) for mixing. Geographically, here’s where we all live: Eugene Suh: Boston, MA Andy Heyer: Boston, MA Brandon Dudley: Huntington Beach, CA Mike Funk: San Luis Obispo, CA Jackie Kasbohm: Seattle, WA.”
Resurgence releases March 5, 2021 on Dome A Records. The record was mixed by Colin Christian at Wires and Noise, produced by Echodrone and Colin Christian Mastered by Shawn Hatfield at Audible Oddities. Additional guitars and nonsense by Colin Christian Drums and piano recorded at The Bridge Sound and Stage by Alex Allinson Cover design by Mike Funk.
Echodrone began in 2005 when Brandon Dudley (bass) responded to an ad that Eugene Suh (guitars/synths/vox/piano) posted on Craigslist. The original version of the band was based in the Bay Area and played gigs with leading lights Fleeting Joys, Sciflyer and other local ‘gazers. In 2009, Eugene left for pharmacy school in Baltimore. This led to the band morphing to a purely virtual band, focused on recording and putting out music digitally or on physical formats (i.e. CD, vinyl). Membership in the band has changed around the core of Suh and Dudley over the years and currently includes Mike Funk (electronics, synths), Andy Heyer (drums) and Jackie Kashbolm (vocals).
Interestingly, given the band’s virtual workflow, COVID 19 had no real effect on how ECHODRONE make music.
“We’ve been doing the remote recording thing for years, so the technical aspects of recording a new album in COVID world was “business as usual”.” – says the band.
“The songwriting we did for Resurgence felt different, however, due to the pandemic. All the lyrics and melodies became manifestations of all the emotions we were experiencing in confinement and isolation. There were depressing moments that came out in the music, like how we felt as we all witnessed the devastation that the virus wrought on local music scenes and on how we experience music together.
So many music venues have shut down in our areas and it’s difficult to imagine when things will open back up. But there are also moments of joy that came out in the album, like getting an extended, unique opportunity in isolation to spend time with our families. So, in essence, I think listening through Resurgence in its entirety really gives a sense of our collective take on COVID-19!”
In New England, it feels like the pandemic has drastically changed the local music scene.
“I’m not sure how many of the bands we know in the area are still together, and some of our favorite music clubs have shut down for good. The engineer at the studio where we recorded drums and piano said that his business has shifted somewhat toward podcasts and instructional videos…maybe an indicator of how much local music has disappeared due to COVID. The music scene in Seattle is pretty much a free for all, People here are super passionate about music. If there is one thing Seattlites cherish it is music and arts, – live music specially
so there are all sorts of fund raisers for helping to fund venues that have been impacted, from legendary ones like Seattle Showbox to little ones like The Crocodile.”
Top 10 Record Labels Available On Bandcamp:
In no particular order:
1. Sierpien Records – Russian post-punk, new wave and similar label. Everything I’ve heard is quality and a new discovery.
2. Past Inside The Present – Amazing minimal ambient music from around the world.
3. Kranky – I’ve loved this label since I was in high school. Legendary ambient and noise S
4. Saint Marie Records- our old alma mater. We released Five on St. Marie Records and we still enjoy all the new shoegaze and dreampop that the label puts out!
5. Shore Dive Records – Nico Beatastic’s amazing record label full of awesome shoegaze, post-punk and electronica.
6. Shelflife Records – Another awesome shoegaze-centric record label featuring some of the best in the current shoegaze scene…bands like Airiel, Lavender Blush, Life on Venus, and our friends Whimsical!
7. Mannequin Records – Another recent discovery. Really awesome minimalist, synth, coldwave, industrial label
8. Own Records – They’re really putting out some really incredible ambient/post-rock/cinematic masterpieces on Own Records, highly recommended
9. Sargent House – Everyone knows they’re awesome though…
10. Dome A Records – Hi!
ECHODRONE went down different musical paths in 2020. We asked the band to give us their perspective on 2020 and recall some of the most important moments in their lives. Heres what we’ve got – see below.
Jackie: 2020 for me personally I was introduced to some new bands that are not really new but they are new to me, Seam, PinkShinyUltrablast, NAX, Presents For Sally. All seem to have a common thread of just writing songs from the heart and there is something pure about their sound, in a very unapologetic way.
Eugene: I spent a lot of time in 2020 exploring neo-classical, Musique Concrete and old New York School compilations.
I love when I hear music that challenges the way I think about composition and music itself. Of all the albums I listened to in 2020, Jim O’Rourke – Shutting Down Here really stood out. It’s a stunning piece of electroacoustic/ambient/musique concrete, with some absolutely haunting textures/melodies. Highly recommended!!
Brandon Dudley: I would definitely recommend Whimsical – Bright Smiles & Broken Hearts and the Churchill Garden – Heart and Soul. The lovely voice of Krissy V is the common denominator between these two dreampop bands, both of whom have been creating quality songs for quite awhile. Their vinyl releases were my most oft played shoegaze albums of 2020.
Top 10 Influential Albums/Artists For ECHODRONE’s “Resurgence”
- Jim O’Rourke – Halfway to a Threeway
- The Sea and Cake – The Fawn
- Swans – The Seer
- Talking Heads – Remain in Light
- Michael Brook – Brooklyn (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
- Bitch Magnet – Umber
- Rachel’s – Selenography
- Lauren Bousfield – Avalon Vales
- Sóley – Ask the Deep
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumors