Bay Area indie pop one-man-band Orange Dots is the project of Shony, artist and multi-instrumentalist involved in many Californian bands (Redwood City’s noise outfit Anti-Core, post punk duo Cliffs & Bridges and punk band Voided Social Contract) and past member of San Francisco’s pop group Magic Bullets, a wonderful band inspired by C86, Sarah, Postcard and Cherry Red. His new project Orange Dots starts from there but add other sulkier/darker sounds in the mix. His second album, Deflated, follows last years’ debut An Episode Of Balance and the 2017’s EP You Will Cast Bells, and it’s out now on Shony’s own label Recorded Psychic Readings.
What Shony Says: “Orange Dots is me, Shony. Prior to Orange Dots I played guitar and fronted San Francisco punk group Voided Social Contract. Before that I played keys with a wonderful group of fellas in an SF Bay pop group called Magic Bullets, heavily inspired by C86, Sarah, Post Card, Cherry etc. Orange Dots is definitely influenced by these labels and artists, but there are other sulkier/darker sounds in the mix.
The pandemic(s) have really done a number on us all. Before this whole thing went down I used to tell folks, “I could never leave the house again and I’d be just fine. I don’t like people.” But let me tell ya, that was bullshit. I need people and I’m feeling the weight of isolation, can ya relate?
The latest Orange Dots album, Deflated, channels some of my darker thoughts and feelings on the matter. Feelings of inadequacy, fear and isolation, but also these moments of hope, peace and balance. There was a true battle between hope and despair while making this record. I think some version of hope won the day because the record I’m currently working on has some teeth.
In addition to Orange Dots, I run a small Bay Area record label called Recorded Psychic Readings. Send me your music! 🙂“
His Mixtape: “I was going to only add songs that I felt could be heard/felt on my album Deflated to the mixtape, but decided to just put forth some of the stuff I’m currently jamming on at home.“
Hectorine – Blue Sky
I have to give this song and artist credit for getting me back interested in current music. I’m ashamed that I hadn’t been supporting newer artists more over the last couple years. Hearing Blue Sky was a little bit of a slap in the face (in a good way) for me. Also I showed the cover to my 3 year old and she said “Naked baby alert”.
Judee Sill – The Kiss
This song really stirs something up in me. I hear it and I feel like I’m going to incinerate. It’s otherworldly, you can tell she truly is speaking about something much bigger than this physical world.
Psychic TV – White Nights
Just living completely outside of it all. 100% their own thing. Fuckin’ legends and I love em’. RIP Genesis.
Big Star – Kangaroo
What I love about this song is that it feels so “in the moment”. Like it’s a private thought by Chilton and we are somehow tuned into his mind like a radio station. So magical. Clean static…
Kids On A Crime Spree – All Things Fade
Eeek this band has flipped a switch in my head. This album has already become a classic for me. I’m not sure what exactly sets it apart, it’s like being on a swing-set in the sun. Close your eyes on the upswing and let the sunlight warm your skin. Feel the gravity of the downswing as the blood rushes to your cheeks. Can’t recommend this enough.
Aluminum – Spinning Backwards
I don’t know if these folks are on the radar yet, but they are pretty dope. Feel like I should be dancing at the Hacienda for this track. Their other song on Bandcamp called As Big As You Are is also worth checking out.
The Bats – North By North
I have a strong desire to write a song like this but geez it’s not easy. My guess is that most musicians who hear this song can appreciate just how amazing this song is from a songwriting perspective. The same chord progression throughout, but never a lull in energy. Driving, catchy, and just the most perfect punk song.
Artsick – Ghost of Myself
This band, and song, take me back in time. I’m hanging out in San Francisco in the late 90s with my buddies Frog and Dawn eating Szechuan Garden and listening to punk on the floor type vibe. Genuine and catchy af, gonna be on repeat for me for a long time.