Hometown: Orlando, FL
Album: Sundown in Oaktown, out January 27th via Self-Release
RIYL: Hawaii. Oakland. Lighthouses.
Some records feel like musical lighthouses, guiding lost souls back to the shore. Those are ones with a real haunted yet elegant feel, washing over you like waves on the shore. triton.’s incredible Sundown in Oaktown is the most calming music I’ve come across in ages. What I love most, aside from how catchy everything is, is the musical diversity on display. No two songs are alike, even if they create a very cohesive whole. It’s very much indebted to reggae, hip hop, indie pop, and underground electronic, with the types of melodies I associate with 00s post-hardcore. Considering a wealth of punk and post-hardcore features and production by Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, it’s no surprise that the music carries a real emotional, raw vibe. So where did this unique project come from?
Mastermind Scott Murphy shares:
“triton. started with writing songs on my guitar, sitting on the beach at Kahalu’u in Kona, to the metronome of the tide. I always wanted to use the sounds that were around me growing up in Hawaii and reconstruct a new sound with them. You can cook many different dishes using the same ingredients, but with different techniques. This is how I’ve approached my music. I wanted to present a different sum of the parts that I was familiar with to offer a new sonic narrative.”
Those features played a key part not only in the album’s final product but in its inspiration as well:
“Being able to work with all the guests on this album was such a full-circle experience for me. In my ‘dark times’ as a lost soul, these were the voices that guided me in my headphones, in my speakers, and to be able to create something new with them involved is really a fulfilling feeling. I’m writing about my time living in the Bay, and I remember walking the streets, riding the BART, just going through it, listening to Thursday, Underoath, The Dangerous Summer, and now these guys are on these songs about those times, so it’s definitely a ‘pinch-me’ moment.”
On some of the goals of the album:
“Believe it or not, haunting and elegant have been two of the descriptors I use when conveying the sound I’m trying to achieve. I put a lot of effort into trying to create not just songs, but cohesive albums that take the listener on a journey. I like to think of the songs as chapters in a story and that they all contribute a different dimension or light that forms something complete as a whole. It seems to be sort of a dying art, to have the album be the vision, not the individual songs, but this is how I write my music and piece it together. I love, as a consumer of music, to get lost in an album, and to feel like I’ve gone somewhere by the time it’s done. And my hope with Sundown in Oaktown, is that it can be that for someone somewhere.”
“Music has always offered me” he continues, “a perceived safe space of understanding and acceptance, and has helped me through some tough times. Listening to the right song or album at the right moment can help work through things, and this has been a big help in my mental health over the years. I wanted to offer a vulnerability and sincerity with the hopes it could do the same for a listener somewhere. This album is a coming-of-age tale, with peaks, troughs, struggles, and I suppose the triumph is endurance. Leonard Cohen once said, ‘success is survival,’ so in that context, the protagonist succeeds. Many of life’s truths are hard to swallow, and it is not always easy, but coming to terms with these truths, as well as flaws and faults of the self, are all part of maturation. There comes a point where we can no longer neglect or turn a blind eye to responsibility and have to grow up. There are many hard decisions to be made along the way, many forks in the road. We carry our scars and life lessons with us so that we don’t repeat them and can lean on them as experience to grow from.”