Local band, Others, releases experimental album

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Courtesy Amy Shank | The Daily Wildcat The album cover for Others' new album "Geist," which was released on Nov. 8, 2019.

Others, the Tucson-based band comprised of Daniel Martin Diaz and Lesli Wood, released its new album, Geist, on Nov. 8 with no restraint when it comes to artistic vision.

The songs on Geist have no clear verses, choruses or even lyrics. Rooted in classical music with a kraut-rock type of sound, the sound speaks and breathes for itself.

“The music was guiding us, as opposed to us guiding the music,” Diaz said.

About three years ago, Diaz and Wood began to work together on a unique sound, gathering in a homemade studio at Wood’s home alongside other musicians to improvise and explore.

“We just connected on this level of … trying to make this 21st century avant-garde music but still keep[ing] it rock and roll,” Diaz said.

Geist submerges the listener in a headspace of pure imagination. According to Wood, the music is meant to leave room for audience interpretation.

“We weren’t setting out to make some pop record, you know, we were just expressing ourselves artistically,'' Diaz said.

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The music making process for Geist had no specific rules or structure.

“We just wanted something experimental," Wood said. "[Something that] let our subconscious take over and whatever happens, happens during the recording,'' Wood said.

Wood explained that she and Diaz wanted Others to be free from genre labels and imposed identities. To them, their music was too personal and far too eclectic to be labeled or defined.

There were many different instruments used in creating this instrumental album, including the violin, synth and guitar. Wood herself played the keyboard, bass and even added sound effects and looping.

Diaz, who plays guitar, began playing music around eighth and ninth grade. When he grew bored of playing other artists’ songs, he began to write his own.

“I was always more into the concept of creating sounds and just playing music more from an artistic point of view,'' Diaz said.

According to Wood, the creative process is an experience that can take the creators and their audience away from the world, which is part of what she loves about making music. Living in Tucson has also influenced her work, she said, because this city is teeming with musicians, studio spaces and artists to collaborate with.

Wood and Diaz agreed to keep the recordings for Geist intimate so as to invite other musicians to play whatever came to mind. This intuitive, free flowing process of making music aimed to impact the album in such a way that the music can mean something different to each listener.

“I want the listener to go wherever the music takes them,'' Wood said.

The music video for the album’s titular song “Geist” takes an abstract form — abstract enough that two videographers decided to use it as the backdrop for their own video.

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Solomon Burbridge directed the film alongside his friend Joshua Cox. The video had already been made at the time of discovering the song, but Burbridge felt as though “Geist” was the perfect music to accompany it. 

“We made this without a real venue or a purpose,” Burbridge said. “We just wanted to experiment with visual imagery and convey the feeling instead of a story.”

The music video is filled with clips of a woman in different poses and situations, sometimes smoking a cigarette or staring deeply at a plant covered in a plastic bag.

Burbridge suggested looking at the film in an abstract way. He was “trying to make a movie that’s more of a sculpture than it is a film,'' Burbridge said.

The music video is just one example of the type of mainstream-defying music that Others created with Geist.

“Sometimes you need that opposite of beauty to just make things feel real,'' Diaz said.



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