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Weatherboy

Weatherboy
(Stand Down Records)
Release Date: July 7, 2017

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"Great Great Life"

There’s something about Pacific Ocean waves that acts as a focus point for the inspirations of musicians. Built upon a roiling movement, and at times, an unexpected ferocity, this ebb and flow creates a landscape of sharp natural rhythms and constant action. For Los Angeles artist-restaurateur (and avid surfer) John Walquist and Iceland-born multi-instrumentalist/producer Ragnar Rosinkranz, this sense of endless opportunity led them to create their joint kaleidoscopic pop venture Weatherboy, a space where they could confront their own melody-driven instincts in a freeform setting.

Driven by a shared love of classic pop diviners such as The Beatles and the Beach Boys, they sought to bridge those past sounds with a more modern ideology founded upon their collective musical experiences. The idea that a grand pop landscape—and by extension, its influence on a number of different genres—could summon its own organic ebb and flow gave this collaboration a unique musical perspective. They first met in college in California where the two discovered a mutual affection for the wider territories of pop music and soon found themselves at the beginning of a long personal and professional friendship.

From the opening plucks and brass expulsions of “Gotta Good Thing” to the ‘60s acoustic pop swagger of “Good Morning,” the duo ramble through a world of bright melodies and swirling melodic nuance with a casual gait. Further held aloft by the echoing string sections and eclectic momentum of “Bennett,” they don’t rush the important details that give each track their individual identities. The resonance of piano keys litter the atmosphere of “Full Bloom” as the cathartic indie pop roar of “A bright flame” invokes artists like Arcade Fire and The National.

Walquist and Rosinkranz wander through a sound that’s influenced by the past while still bearing the indelible mark of their current musical fascinations. For example, Walquist was a fan of legendary guitarist Phil Keaggy (Glass Harp) and reached out to him, never expecting to get a response. But as it happened, Keaggy liked what he heard and agreed to appear on the record—eventually recording guitar parts on all of the songs. And it’s in this regard and respect for artists of the past that creates a bridge to production that feels far more modern and measured.

Instead of trying to force a given musical viewpoint to Weatherboy, they allowed the music to lead them in whatever direction seemed to fit. The studio wasn’t a means to confine these rhythms but was a place where their communal inspirations could entangle and evolve, giving each song a distinct and inclusive expression. Rosinkraz favored pliable orchestration while Walquist explored the heart of each track, and the synthesis from these two practical perspectives marked a tone of capricious creativity that threads itself throughout the record.

But it always seems to come back to the ocean, that primordial home for natural rhythm and endless possibilities. And in its tumultuous noise, Walquist found an honest motivation and the seeds of what would come to be known as Weatherboy. Aided by the dense pop production and complex arrangements of Rosinkranz, these two artists discovered a musical affection that bore no caveats, delivering a psychedelic burst of iridescent movement directly to the nerves running down your spine. Weatherboy isn’t treading water or staying close to shore—it’s charging the waves and making room for us on the board.

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Press Contact Bill Benson
Photo Credit: Phoebe Walquist

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