- John Kelly
- Crater have a reservoir of talent.
When Stranger music Genius Award nominee Erik Blood drops a hint, you pay attention. On Twitter recently, he posted, “Crater. Act like you know.” That was all it took for me to explore this mysterious entity. As usual, Blood laid down a tip worth heeding.
Seattle duo Crater consist of Land of Pines member Kessiah Gordon (drums, samples) and Ceci Gomez (vocals, synths, samples). Live, the band expands to a quartet, with Ben Roth (Bod and Oberhofer) on guitar and Lance Umble (Bod and Cumulus) on bass. They only have a few songs up on their Soundcloud, but they portend a promising future. Gomez emits gorgeous vocalizations over lush and harsh electronic tracks that sometimes lean toward the dance floor and sometimes just want to discombobulate your senses.
There’s something special going on here and though Crater are relatively new, the Canadian electronic artist Trust asked them to open for him on his three-week fall 2014 tour (it hits Neumos Oct. 1). How did they get such a sweet gig with an established act, especially considering they just played their first show Aug. 20 at Chop Suey? “Could be karmic,” Gordon says. “Could be that a few audacious individuals out there heard our recordings, liked them, and now trust us to deliver live (seeing the pun now...). Either way, we're grateful.”
When asked how a typical Crater recording session goes, Gordon explained: “Ceci likes to think of our songwriting as a hectic collage or wall of sound. Usually the way it works is she'll make a beautiful mess for us to organize; to shape and rework the chaos into a cohesive idea. Sometimes I'll write a guitar line at 2 in the morning while she's passed out on my bed, drooling on my pillows, giving me some sort of acknowledgment every now and again to show that she's listening... I'm totally inspired by that zero-pressure environment.
“The recording process usually starts out with Ceci hashing out a vocal melody or synth line," Gordon continues. "From there we piece together drum loops, wacky samples, and guitar riffs in Ableton until it seems like we can't layer any more on there. After all that, we begin to strip away elements we think are nonessential to the song, which can be a lot at times. It can take months to complete a recording, but is totally worth it when we do. But then there are those rare moments when Ceci will write 90 percent of the song in a week and I'll just give her a nice pat on the back.”
Crater plan to put out a new song in September, and once they return from the Trust tour they’re going to get moving on their debut album and scope out more touring possibilities. "Ceci and I already have close to 20 songs completed and we’ve self-produced everything thus far," Gordon says. "[We have no] other plans at this point aside from selecting the songs that work best together for the album. [We're] continuing to write, though, so we’ll see what happens!"