Electron Odyssey is Jeff Spoonhower, an award-winning musician, composer, and producer. His music is inspired by 80s synth-driven pop, progressive rock, synth wave and cinematic scores. For 20 years, he has worked as an art director, animator, and sound designer in the video game industry (BioShock, Uncharted, Borderlands, Saints Row series, and more). Jeff’s 2021 debut album ‘Your Future Awaits’ was featured on Bandcamp’s front page ‘New and Notable’ section, hit #2 and #3 on the electro and synthwave sales charts on Bandcamp, and earned him the ‘Best Electro Artist of 2021’ award by the popular UK radio station, Radio Wigwam.
Does the whole album fit into a particular musical genre, or does it borrow from multiple forms?
“The album is inspired by a few different genres, including 80s synth-driven pop, progressive/art rock, cinematic scores, and psychedelic space synth music. I’ve enjoyed listening to these types of music ever since I was a kid, and I wanted to pay homage to them, in a way, by making this album.”
“I like to combine electronic and acoustic elements in my songs and I’m especially fond of more “retro” instrumentation and songwriting aesthetics. Even though each song on the album is different in style and tone, it was my goal to make the listening experience feel unified and cohesive.”
Is there a story behind the cover artwork? Did you make ityourself?
“I created the album art myself, yes! I’m a professional artist, animator, and game developer, so I enjoy creating my own album art. Album covers really are an art form unto themselves. They have to communicate an idea to the listenerand draw them into the musical world of the record. The “idea”could be an emotional tone, a character, or a story, but the end goal is always the same – to encourage the audience to listen to the music! The album art is the first thing the listener sees, so it’s really important to do well.”
“The cover art for ‘Liquid Crystal Daydreams’ is supposed to have more of an abstract, surrealist feel to it. The meaning of the images and objects are intentionally vague and meant to be interpreted by the listener, which I find interesting. This style of album art pays homage to progressive rock albums that were popular in the late 1970s and 1980s. I always loved those vinyl LP designs as a kid. I used to pour over them in an attempt to decipher their meanings. I thought it would be fun (and appropriate to the style of music on my album) to take the cover art in this direction. I’m also a fan of surrealist artists like Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.”
Is it important for you to have control over all aspects of a project?
“The album was self-produced. I enjoy all aspects of the process of creating a record from writing and performing the songs, to mixing, mastering, and working with collaborators like vocalists and guitar soloists.”
“I started teaching myself composition and production seven years ago and have learned a tremendous amount about the many aspects of making music. There is always so much to learn and improve upon and I enjoy the many creative and technical challenges that are a part of the process. It’s a lot of work to produce as album as an individual, but it’s worth the effort!”