“We plan on releasing two EPs this year, with a couple of songs premiering every month until May,” says guitarist Seton Edgerton, one half of folky synthpop duo Well Well Well. The Poptimism EP was produced by one of their inspirations, L.A. pop group Gardens & Villa, while a second EP, Ships, was co-produced by Johnny Hanson (Avi Buffalo) and local Keith Milgaten, aka Keith Sweaty.
“Each EP has a different vibe, and I thought the more futuristic-sounding songs of Poptimism would work great with the Gardens & Villa-style production. The songs from Ships seemed to be right up Johnny Hanson’s alley, with a traditional studio approach… it goes to show that your music can really adapt to certain environments and take on a whole new life, if given the opportunity. I wanted both sessions to be collaborative, and leave plenty of room for experimentation and ideas.”
Edgerton and drummer Dan Nichols, both previously of Barbarian, released their debut Well Well Well album in 2016, engineered by fellow former Barbarian Jon Greene (Plateaus, Lowlands), who died that November at age 35. “We were in pre-production with the new songs when he passed, and it took me a while to find my way back into working these songs out. Recording in L.A. with a whole new group of people was very foreign to both myself and Dan, everything we had ever recorded was with Jon…. I wrote ‘Lost Without Him’ a couple weeks after he passed, with many an emotional night spent at my desk trying to wrap my head around the fragility of life, and how that transforms into song.”
“He was a huge part of my life and I owe so much to him. There isn't a day that goes by where he doesn't pop in my mind. His influence across the entire San Diego music scene was remarkable, and the Greene Sound no doubt lives on and is carried with every musician he worked with...I know he would have really enjoyed these songs, and it pains me knowing he'll never get a chance to hear them.”
Moving forward, recent live gigs have included drummer Damon De La Paz (Fenix TX, Grand Tarantula) and bassist Blake Dean (Mrs. Henry), with the latter also providing a new local recording space. “Blake lives on an old boat from 1936 called Just Love, docked next to the USS Midway, that he converted into his living space and recording studio. Just Love was originally owned by the Brooks Institute of Photography and was used by Jacques Cousteau and his crew for filming around San Diego in the ‘70s.”
Neither Blake nor De La Paz are featured on the new recordings, “But this year, they most certainly will be,” says Edgerton, who promises to deliver the new songs fully fleshed out for live performances. “We just recently added an incredible horn and woodwinds player, David Tchang, a multi-instrumentalist...we have a few tours that I'm hashing out now for May, and some outside summer gigs that we're looking to fill out.”
A video recently debuted for “Sleeping Away,” sporting black and white videography and liquidy splashes of shadow that add a touch of surrealism.
“The video was directed by Billy Hall, and I couldn't have imagined the song without it now. His vision, along with director of cinematography Nick Morr, was very clear, and the video was done with extreme efficiency. The liquid and sand splashes were done on a white platform and seemed to be done very simply, but with the final shot with coloration and layering done in mind. They took a helicopter around San Diego to get the aerial shots of Black's Beach, downtown, and the freeways. A drone just wouldn't cut it, you can tell when images and videos are captured from a drone camera, it seems one dimensional.”
The Poptimism EP cover sports a band logo fashioned from copper wire by an elderly street artist in Barcelona. “He sits right outside the Cocteleria Boadas nightly and makes small copper-wire bicycles that he sells to random passersby for about five euros [around $6 U.S.]…I bought him and some friends a six pack of Estrella beer while he got to work and, five minutes and five euros later, I had my album cover and logo.”
“He seemed pleased and happy to be commissioned to make something else other than his wire bicycle.”
Well Well Well appears March 29 at Blonde, opening for Bedroom, and their next single, "Me," debuts April 23 at Soda Bar.