Week in Pop: Dinowalrus, Kate Grom, Versing

Sjimon Gompers

The proliferation & persistence of Dinowalrus; photographed live at Webster Hall by Silvia Saponaro.

Memoryy

Memoryy's own Shaun Hettinger; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Memoryy’s own Shaun Hettinger; press photo courtesy of the artist.

You might already know Memoryy, oka Alburqurque by Brooklyn artist Shaun Hettinger, from composing the theme of Chelsea Handler’s Netflix program Chelsea which originally was going to be the single “Turn It Up”—of which we proudly present the following world premiere. Featured off the upcoming album Skeletons set for release later this March, Shaun creates a lively sort of synth pop that imitates & emulates the harmonies, melodies & rhythms that comprise our daily existence. Exhibiting a fetish for 1980s styles & innovation that continues to inform much of the audio arts that we enjoy in our worlds currently; Shaun lives up to his self-appointed title as Memoryy where neon-soaked memories from the past inform the digital crazed textures that are contemporary era is obsessed with.

“Turn It Up” serves as a spring anthem deserving of being the soundtrack to any & every soiree. The instructions to literally turn it up involves all the usual associated cliches like “I’m burning up” as the drums & synths all allude to the most hedonistic of gatherings. Memoryy makes the song an instant call for all to convene together in the congress of the ballroom dance floor where everybody is invited to bust a move to the turned-up tunes. Shaun taps into the energy of the most ecstatic club experience where a lively crowd praises the exalted DJ that keeps the entire joint jumping. “Turn It Up” with trigger that familiar & vague sense of wait a minute, haven’t I heard this track somewhere before? feeling where Memoryy melds together the distances between 2017 & 1987 that practically makes a gulf of 30-plus years feel like a fleeting fancy from yesterday that continues to shape our todays & tomorrows.

Shaun Hettinger provided us with the following exclusive insights about his upcoming Skeletons album & more:

Skeletons is the big pop album I’ve slowly been making for the past five years—I just didn’t know it at the time. When I was packing up to move everything from Brooklyn to my new home in Albuquerque last year, I stumbled onto a hard drive with old demos of songs I discarded, abandoned or generally had forgotten about. To my surprise there were some nuggets of good ideas that just needed some reworking. So I teamed up with some of my Brooklyn friends for one last collaboration—chillwave artist Brothertiger co-produced two tracks, my old band The Golden Pony assisted on one, Yeasayer-producer Abe Seiferth assisted on another, & my old bandmate Frances Cone sang backup on a track. Without the pressure of a label breathing down my neck, I released one song after another, as they became ready. Most where hits for me on HypeMachine.

As I settled here in Albuquerque, I finally began working on music fulltime & my production chops only got better—I wrote the Netflix Chelsea Handler theme song & started turning in hit remixes for acts like Body Language, Paperwhite, King Deco & Bridgit Mendler. All the while, slowly working away on Skeletons. I think it’s a good representation of where I’m at musically now—some moody Electro-Pop, some throw-back Synth-Pop, all sprinkled with some artsy layers or vocal glitch elements.

Memoryy laying down in a bed of synthesizers; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Memoryy laying down in a bed of synthesizers; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Shaun also provided some thoughts about the new single “Turn It Up”:

Right as I was scheduling mastering—the final last step for any album—I was listening to Strfkr & it hit me that the album was missing one unabashed pop song. Running out of time, I grabbed & reworked this demo called “Turn It Up”—which was nearly the Netflix Chelsea Handler theme song—before I wrote the one that became the winner.

My buddy, NYC synth-pop artist Brain Tan, wrote the killer synth-hook on it & I churned out the final mix with seconds to spare. It just made the album! It’s a cheeky love letter to all the synth pop—emphasis on pop—that I grew up listening to & loving in the 80s. I have dreams of hijacking a DeLorean & traveling back to 1984 to get this song placed in a John Hughes movie.

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