The story of Oklahoma Citys Colin Nance is your classic bedroom-project narrative, born from a chance encounter with the music of M83.
I dont make it a mystery: M83 is huge for me, Nance said. A guy in college introduced me I was listening to Before the Dawn Heals Us, and I was like, What is this? It hit the spot. It was what I was looking for a long time for: something more cinematic, beautiful and uplifting.
Wanting to put his own spin on that motif, he worked behind closed doors for several years. Excited but shy about the solo work hed assembled using vintage synthesizers and a computer, Nance let the files sit on his hard drive. Instead he put his heart, soul and plenty of sweat into his indie psych-rock band, The Gentle Art of Floating, until finally deciding to let the material hatch last year.
I didnt feel superconfident in it. I was comfortable with [the band] not so much with the stuff I was making outside of Gentle Art, he said. I felt like I couldnt bring it to people. Finally, it just felt like I wanted to put it out there.
And he did so in the comfort of his own home, letting only his closest friends in on what was going on just a few feet away from his living room. Only to them did he unveil his solo debut, Summer Fever.
I thought everyone, I included, could just be comfortable, hanging out in my living room, Nance said. I liked having these intimate settings and seeing what backdrop I could create for them. Thats what Summer Fever was born from: wanting to make good-time music.
Hes since made the move to bigger stages and playing for strangers, supporting the likes of Memoryhouse and Reptar. After releasing Summer Fever and an album of B-sides in 2011, Nance produced a more measured and formidable EP in Aprils Warmth. His latest music falls more in line with the latter.
It keeps evolving. Now, its ... I dont want to say serious, but it is a more serious tone, he said. Summer Fever was borderline hitting cheesy. Im still having fun with it, but I have a better idea of what direction I want to go in.
Between Gentle Arts debut disc due in early 2013 and a fledgling collaboration with Chrome Ponys Steven Battles called Late Night Jazz, a new solo release might not come until late next year. Rest assured, however, hes not keeping things undercover any longer.
Im leaning toward bigger sounds, Nance said. It might fit better outside of the house.