Calls On Him: Doug Tuttle reveals how he gets those fuzzy psychedelic tones
Exuding psychedelic vibes, laid back rhythms, and a soothing voice, Doug Tuttle has a way of writing vibrant music that has a knack of sticking with the listener long after a song ends. Catchy lyrics are present in a lot of the tracks off of It Calls On Me, his latest release, out last week, from the Chicago-based indie label Trouble In Mind Records. The current Somerville resident and former MMOSS guitarist explores sonic landscapes and pushes boundaries while resonating vintage, timeless pop, and this weekend he brings his sound to a trio of art spaces around New England.
Tuttle will be rolling through AS220 in Providence this Friday, the Lilypad in Cambridge on Saturday, and 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Sunday as part of his winter tour in support of his follow up to 2014's self-titled debut. And we'll get an up-close view of how Tuttle creates his warm, psych-pop sound.
It's a sound we were compelled to ask him about.
"I played everything on the album and I recorded it in a spare room in the apartment I share with my girlfriend," Tuttle tells Vanyaland of the recording process of It Calls On Me and the equipment he uses to get that fuzzy psychedelic tone. "I more often than not plug in my guitar directly into my interface and don't use any effects. Most of the fuzz stuff is one of my psych byke pedals plugged in direct."
You can sense a distinct rawness that gives the production quality of the album a genuine feel. There's no nonsense and what you hear is what you get.
A groovy one off the album is "Falling To Believe", which you can preview below via the Trouble In Mind Soundcloud. It's an acoustic driven track with sweet melodies and a rigid guitar solo that shows off Tuttle's multi-instrumental skills. The title track has a pulsating drum beat that anchors the entire song from start to finish, it'll grab you like a tractor beam and you'll never want to come back down. Reminiscent of '60s folk artists Donovan and Nick Drake, "These Times" is another mellow acoustic number that has recurring down beats that lead up to the chorus at continuous intervals.
After this current tour, Tuttle says a wider canvass of the country is expected -- though there aren't many details just yet.
"There's nothing at the moment, but I'm supposed to do a full US thing at some point," he says. "I'll start working on that before long."
It'll be intriguing to see where the success of his latest release leads him this year, but this weekend gives New Englanders a chance to see him in an intimate environment. Check out two tracks from It Calls On Me below, as well as some of Tuttle's earlier solo stuff via out slider.