Seattle-based shoegaze/post-punk/dream rock collective Nostalgist – comprised of Asa Eisenhardt and his cohorts in music – has been dazzling crowds since 2012 and, with the release of new music and their journey only gets brighter from here. March’s Disaffection gave us even more reason to keep our eyes peeled for live performances, its raw sound and instrumentals often giving us chills.
Check out the new album in its entirety below, as well as a quick interview with frontman Asa Eisenhardt about it all.
While writing music, has there ever been a time where you have experienced a severe case of writer’s block? How did you resolve it?
Yeah, constantly. If I have enough time I’ll just try to play through it as best I can– let my mind wander and hope for the best. I might also try working from a basic theory concept as well, like chord inversions, where relevant. In the bigger picture, as with most songwriters, I just make sure to write down and/or record whatever idea I’m working on as it might click into place at a later point. This question has reminded me to consult Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards more often.
During your time as an artist, have you been able to accomplish your goals or are you still working towards them?
Ideally, in my mind, it’s both: taking stock of and expressing gratitude for one’s opportunities and accomplishments while also keeping steady sights on the proverbial road and goals ahead.
When you are touring and performing on different stages, how do you pass the time?
We’ve only done one tour, which was down the West Coast about 3 years ago. In transit, time was passed with pretty standard stuff like conversation and listening to music. During venue downtime, I’m usually doing vocal warmups and/or trying to get in a good headspace.
Apart from music, what would you say your true passion is?
I have a number of other interests, but music is absolutely my true passion.
What can your current and future fans expect from you before the end of the year? Is there any exciting news that you can share with us?
I’m slowly figuring out a remix release. One of them is finished, a few others are in a nebulous state and some are still yet to be determined. These will be complete reinventions using the componentry of a certain track on our new MLP. I’ve also acquired multitrack audio from our record show for a possible live album of some manner, but haven’t listened back in a proper studio environment yet.
Performance-wise, we’re playing two local shows this summer — a serious goth banger on July 5th with Nox Novacula (Seattle goth ‘n’ roll that’s taken the city by force in just a handful of months) and Twin Tribes (synthy jams, on tour from New Jersey). The other one is August 2nd and we’ll be revealing more about that one as the date approaches.
Is there one thing that inspires your music, or is there a wide variety of things that help you come up with the lyrics and accompanying music?
I’ve taken to the phrase “love and lack thereof” as being the central inspiration/subject matter. Film always plays a role as well, usually in how I mentally envision the imagery I’m trying to capture with words or atmosphere. In the first few years, that always meant classic noir, but I’ve branched out a bit. Really, it’s anything I can aesthetically repurpose. For instance, the cover still of our new record comes from L’Avventura. I stumbled across it on the internet and the vibe I got from it, along with the water imagery capturing an identical and ubiquitous lyrical element I often refer to, was so immediately perfect for these songs. While I enjoyed the film, I found it to be a bit different than what I was expecting. Presented alone, however I still love what the image does.
Additionally, I do have clinical depression, and while I am almost always a happy, goofy individual, things can sometimes be difficult. Once I bounce back from these periods and have time to reflect, I can often lyrically channel those feelings in a healthy way. I’m definitely drawing on my own experiences and filtering them through the aesthetics and influences I hold near and dear, but I also try to keep things just vague enough so other people can relate or maybe project them onto the song to their own cathartic end.
Has there been anyone in particular that has helped get you to where you are today?
Broadly speaking, I’d say a large number of people have, including past and present bandmates, my encouraging parents, and so forth. But to be more specific, in terms of magnitude, Evan Foster’s mentorship from both a musical and production standpoint has been unquantifiably beneficial– without him, this band would be nothing. Similarly, all four members of Agalloch were supportive from the getgo, not least of which Aesop. His guest drumming on the new record put some serious fire underneath the songs, and set a standard for the future.
Keep up with Nostalgist here.