Text: Andy Fenwick
Photos: Chad Stephens
Built with a 4/4 chug, an acoustic strum, a three-chord electric riff, and a distorted vocal wash, CC Mose’s “West Seattle” track works like Jenga before the final move: withdraw any piece, and it falls. That’s not to say it teeters, or needs another piece. Bedroom sensibility married to shoegaze-pop either nails or fails, and Mose renders any potential failure obsolete at around 2:45, when he bolts his tune with a wordless sing-song chorus. Reminiscent of Sparklehorse, or Illinois, “West Seattle” may only provide a stylistic snapshot in time. Debut LP “Beat Me,” out 8/19 on Plastic Jurassic, collects homemade songs spanning three years and 3,000 miles of recording, many with a titular naming of names. You know who you are.
For a musician, how does Portland, or Kansas City, compare to Brooklyn these days?
Each of these three cities (in my opinion) are on three different levels in regards to the opportunities available to musicians in each of them. Obviously, there are far more opportunities, venues, events, fellow musicians, etc., in Brooklyn than there are in Kansas City. Portland sits somewhere right in between the other two. That’s not to say that the musicians or the venues or anything involved in the music scene is better in one city than the others. I know incredibly talented musicians and industry folks in all three of these cities. The one thing that Brooklyn provides musicians with that the others can’t (as frequently and easily) is that you’re surrounded by industry folks. Labels, booking agents, managers, publicists, etc. So much of the industry is based in NYC.
What would be the hardest thing on the album to recreate, gear or equipment-wise?
Man, there are a lot of sounds throughout the album that would be tough to recreate. A lot of the guitar tones took me a long time to dial in when I was recording these songs. Some of these songs were recorded years ago. I’m sure I could recreate each of them in a (hypothetical) live setting, but it would take some trial and error.
Is the CC Mose name functioning for just this collection?
Possibly. Probably but probably not? I’m always making music slowly but surely. At the moment I don’t have any intentions of putting out another record. I’m not even sure what another record would sound like. It would probably sound much different than this record. But, if the day comes that I do release another record I’d probably release it as CC Mose.
Is “West Seattle” alike to the other songs on ‘Beat Me?’
It is. I think it’s alike to all of them in a way. Each of them has their own individuality, but they’re cohesive at the same time. I had no pressure when making this record and I honestly didn’t even plan on making a record. This was a very song-by-song process. But because I was recording so naturally and comfortably, I think that each of these songs shares this “vibe.” Do they all sound like “West Seattle?” No.
I particularly enjoy albums of seemingly unrelated material recorded.
Over years of time (Cannanes, Daniel Johnston, Wrens); at what point did you realize you had an album during the 3-year recording, or was it a sudden realization later when all tracks were done?
It was most definitely a sudden realization with the help of Scotty (from Plastic Jurassic). Like I said before, this was very much a song-by-song process for me. I would go into recording each song without a single note written and challenge myself to write the song and record it while it was naturally coming together. I just wanted to get a song done. There was never the thought of, “Oh, I need to get this done for the record.” I just kept wanting to make a song and make it as good as it possibly could be. Next thing I knew I had this batch of songs that I’d been sharing with Scotty and he was like, “Dude, this is an album.”