Music is something I find that continues to inspire me. Sometimes it is a song itself, but most times it is the artist(s) and their story that keep me coming back. I’ve found a lot of good listening music and inspiring artists through NPR – thank you. One group that you can find me listening to while I work is Doomtree. I throw on the headphones, cancel out all other noise, and bump. They keep my energy up so I can knock out a long list of To Dos. Their newest album, All Hands, is due out on January 27th, 2015, so I found it the perfect time to introduce them on this blog.
Doomtree started as a mess of friends, fooling around after school, trying to make music without reading the manual. The group had varied tastes—rap, punk, indie rock, pop—so the music they made together often bore the toolmarks of several styles. When they had enough songs, they booked some shows. They made friends with the dudes at Kinkos to print up flyers. They burned some CDs to sell. The shows got bigger. Of necessity, Doomtree’s seven members (Cecil Otter, Dessa, Lazerbeak, Mike Mictlan, P.O.S, Paper Tiger, and Sims) figured out how to run a small business. Lazerbeak’s garage became the merchandise warehouse; P.O.S’ mom’s basement became the webstore. A decade and fifty releases later, it’s all properly official—Doomtree is now a real, live label with international distribution—but not too much has changed. Doomtree still partners with people who aren’t jerks. If they can’t find something they need, they make it themselves. Although each member has a career as a solo artist, every so often the whole crew convenes to make a collaborative record as a group.
Yes their music is awesome, that is a fact (…well in my opinion). Their genre-spanning style and in-depth lyricism has me listening to each album multiple times – on repeat while I work. Although I brag about their music to friends, what really has me attached to them is their story. It is something I go back to when the business side of ENLY has me pulling my hair out. Sadly, Architecture school didn’t teach us how to run a small business from the ground up. So, if a group this diverse can stick together, grow a business from scratch, lock themselves in a cabin to limit distractions as they create music, allow each other to be independent while also coming together as a group, work some of the craziest part-time jobs to make ends meet, and still love their craft, it reminds the grind is worth it in the end. Everything will be OK. We can learn from their story and know there is always light at the end. We just have to keep pushing, tackle each step as we go, know we will fall at times, and remember why we are doing this.
Here’s a little sampling of their songs… (A line from the song Flex actually helped me form my grad school admission narrative, but we’ll leave that for another post.)
… and Dessa, member of Doomtree, featured on the Tiny Desk.
We’d love to hear what artists/bands are your ‘go-tos’ when you need a kick of inspiration or energy.