Friday Five: Fred Thomas, Chris Dupont, The Kelseys, Bruce Lo, G.B. Marian
Friday Five is where we celebrate new and recent music by Washtenaw County-associated artists.
This week we feature ambient indie-pop from Fred Thomas and friends, orchestral folk-rock from Chris Dupont, radio-ready pop from The Kelseys, drum 'n' bass from Bruce Lo and Bruce Li, and scary soundtracks by G.B. Marian.
Xiu Xiu, Squirrel Flower, Fred Thomas, The Get Up Kids, "Do U Remember" from Exquisite Corpse
In Surrealism's exquisite corpse style, words, images, or—in the case of this Polyvinyl Records compilation—bits of music are composed and then sent on to the next person to add their contribution without knowing what the full work looks, reads, or sounds like. For the Exquisite Corpse comp, 47 musicians created 11 songs in groups of four or five creators, and Ypsilanti's Fred Thomas is among them. His collaboration with Xiu Xiu, Squirrel Flower, and The Get Up Kids sounds like early His Name Is Alive: ghostly ambiance cloaking a dark pop song.
Chris Dupont, Sandpaper Hymn EP
Ypsilanti's Chris Dupont delivers four songs of heart-on-the-sleeve folk-rock accompanied by strings.
The Kelseys, "Love in Fear" and "If I'm Falling
The three members in The Kelseys live in a group house in Ann Arbor, so they've managed to continue writing and recording radio-ready pop songs at a steady pace in 2020. In the video for "Love in Fear," you can see The Kelseys play atop a parking structure on downtown Ann Arbor with Tower Plaza in the background. The live version of "If I'm Falling" was recorded before quarantine by Empty Mug Records, which has released two other clips from the intimate house concert.
Bruce Lo, "03i (Bruce Li Remix)"
Bruce Lo is Chicago's Jon Monteverde and Bruce Li is Ann Arbor's Jienan Yuan, who helms the experimental 1473 label, which Pulp wrote about here. Lo sent Li a crackling drum 'n' bass track for a remix; you can hear the original here.
G.B. Marian, His Nocturnal Majesty and Summer's End
I discovered Ypsilanti's G.B. Marian a few weeks after Halloween, but his John Carpenter- and occult-inspired instrumental synth songs would have made a perfect soundtrack for the season of the witch.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.