Photo by Jordan Kuyper
Origins is a recurring new music feature in which an artist charts the influence of their latest hit single.
After graduating from Fordham University, Brooklyn musicians Mike O’Donnell and Nick “Demo” DeMolina faced the harsh truth most artists do at that point in their lives: Their creative aspirations wouldn’t be able to cover their rent, bills, and other post-collegiate responsibilities. The two parted ways and put in some time in the regular ol’ job market, but the itch for making music eventually got the best of them again.
Early on they were originally drawn to beatmaking and the production side of things, but when O’Donnell and DeMolina reconvened, it was apparent their tastes had shifted in a noticeably different direction. Talking Heads and Berlin-era David Bowie populated their playlists, the music loud, flashy, and strutting. To help realize their newfound art-rock calling, the pair brought in guitarist Cooper “Keeper” Formant and dubbed themselves The Fluids.
This fall, the three-piece is set to unleash its debut album. Titled No Kidding!, it was recorded at 66 Rivington Studios with producer Matthew “Pickles” Iwanusa of Caveman and producer/engineer/mixer Nico Chiotellis. The collection spans 10 tracks, including the frenetic lead single “Creatures”, which Consequence of Sound is premiering today.
Here, synths smolder and flair while Formant’s guitar work jerks as much as rips through the air. For his part, O’Donnell delivers his lines with pomp and pizzazz — Bowie and his peers would be proud. As a whole, “Creatures” sounds like a funky party set inside an early ’80s nightclub, which also happens to be conveniently located in a cemetery. Hear it below.
No Kidding! Artwork:
No Kidding! Tracklist:
02. Sign n’ Drive
03. New Land Sale
06. Heavy Door
07. Favorite Gun
09. Just Like Me
10. On Ice
No Kidding! arrives October 27th via Axis Mundi Records; pre-orders have already begun. For our latest Origins feature, O’Donnell helped us better understand the influences that informed “Creatures” and the LP as a whole, namedropping the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, Prince, and Talking Heads.
Serge Gainsbourg — “Love On The Beat”:
As “Creatures” was going from a laptop demo to a real song, I was listening to Serge Gainsbourg’s 1984 album Love on the Beat, specifically the title song, pretty much non-stop. I had heard of Serge, mostly the older, softer stuff, but had never really dived in. The 80s synths and talk-sing vocal vibe of “Love on the Beat” immediately caught my attention. So when we were initially jamming on Creatures, I started spontaneously screaming, ‘Love on the beat – i.e. creatures’ over and over again towards the end.
Talking Heads — “I’m Not in Love”:
Not exactly going out on a limb listing the Talking Heads as an influence, but structurally, the end of this song really helped shape the end of “Creatures”. Steady bass and drums with complete chaos all around it. Toward the end of Creatures, the guitars are changing every four bars, we have dog barks, party sounds, and ‘yeehaws’, creating a pretty raucous environment. But the bass and drums keep steady and create a thread that runs through all that noise.
Prince — “When Doves Cry”:
“Creatures” was initially written amidst a heavy, heavy Prince phase. It was my first time really embracing the Purple One as more than a weird looking dude who fucks and can shred. I liked how he could distill complex scenes and situations into a simple four-line rhyme, and that he could take a conversation and turn it into a verse. I also liked how he programmed his drums and how the synths would be quiet for a moment, hit you with a BLAST, and then disappear again. And I still liked the shredding.