Direction is a path someone moves in and although local musician Andrew Martin, founder of Up Is The Down Is The, uses a fairly ephemeral stage name, his musical direction is on point.
“I work on my own mostly and I started putting out singles and wanted to do something different,” said Martin. “Being able to collaborate is important and I always wanted to do an album with more emphasis on piano than guitars.”
The album is entitled The Mind Strays. It’s set for release on Thursday, June 11, and will be available on limited edition vinyl, and then for streaming on Bandcamp at first, eventually making the migration to other streaming platforms.
Martin brought in a bunch of local musicians to record the album. Jun Campion played viola and created most of the string arrangements, Josh Lewis played bass, Tanner Schut played drums and Martin played piano, guitar, sampling, programming and vocals. He said the whole album is based around keyboards and the last song, entitled “Back in Focus,” is a tribute to Bill Evans, an American jazz pianist. Martin said he listened to and drew inspiration from plenty of listenings to Evans, James Blake, Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder.
Evans was known for mostly playing in trios and the way he used harmony, block chords. His unique approach to rhythmically independent melodic lines influence jazz composers and musicians today. Blake is a singer, songwriter and pianist. His style ranges from heavier electronic influences in his early work to emphasis on piano and vocals in his later work. Martin said listening to the artists definitely impacted the album.
“A lot of the album and production is based on improve, like jazz, and we went through and cut it together,” said Martin.
You can hear it in the album. Up Is The Down Is The blends a variety of genres from R&B and jazz to electronic and indy-rock but this album is heavy on the piano. It’s very chill to listen to—a perfect Sunday album. The influence of Evans, Blake, Withers and Wonder shine through and create a feeling of nostalgia even though the music is new.
“We use a lot of different aspects and just put them all together,” said Martin. “It was great working with everyone and we’re going to play Treefort in the fall and really looking forward to playing the music in front of an audience.”