by Jonathan Bannister (@J_Utah)
Lo-Fi as a defined genre has been around since the 80’s but as long as people have been making music they have been finding ways to record it onto tape for playback. Of course tape isn’t the operative word anymore. The digital age has diminished the number of people holed up in their bedroom with their Tascam 4-tracks that only has the two working tracks. Now, people are plugged into their iMac using garage band. And while the recording methods have gone digital, our nostalgia soaked times have placed importance back on tangible, physical formats for playback. Vinyl sales are enjoying the highest number of sales in 28 years and even cassette tapes are on the rise. A cheap way to give fans a physical product to hold and listen to, tapes have been a welcomed return for many indie labels and lo-fi bands (and car owners with working tape decks in their cars like your’s truly).
John DeRosso didn’t use an iMac. Under the name Flout, he recorded his new album Norman Doors using an iPhone 6. He did however record most of it in his bedroom, and even some in the living room, and even his parent’s basement. Almost all the instruments were played by him. Despite these conditions, the record doesn’t have an insular feel. Standout tracks like "Banquet," "Seven * Five," and "17M" give off an open, aired out feeling you wouldn’t expect.
A Norman Door is a term given to a poorly designed door that leaves you standing in front of it wondering whether to push or pull it open. It’s an apt metaphor for times in our lives and the songs on Norman Doors give off the vibe that they’re about those very moments. Songs that are perfect for those summer afternoons spent wondering what to do once fall comes. The soundtrack to sitting out on the porch, daydreaming with headphones on and enjoying the sun.
Now, DeRosso released Norman Doors digitally back in April of this year. However, Dust Etc. the Boston based label run by Cole Kinsler (who himself releases lo-fi music to tape under the name Space Mountain) is putting out Norman Doors on a limited edition pink cassette July 22. Pre-order the cassette here and spend the rest of your summer with your headphones on, listening and wondering if you should push or pull.