By Jenna Lee Williams
EDMONTON — The dream pop solo project of Jesse Nakano, Space Classic, has been in existence since September 2014. Space Classic emanates a nostalgic feel that is pure, simplistic and follows through on making catchy tracks. The video for “Following Through” — the title track off his last release — made Weird Canada’s New Canadiana Choice Grips list earlier this year. A review of that album on Grayowl Point notes: “Listening to Following Through feels like walking through your high school’s halls on the last day of school. This very specific feeling overpowered me during my numerous listens (and I’m sure will continue to do so) of Space Classic’s latest. This walk is marked by nostalgia and an anxiety surrounding the future that is almost unbearable. You grasp at a past you’re happy to leave behind but yet is so damn comforting.”
BeatRoute checked in with the multitasker solo artist over the phone while he was shoveling the walk. Although he makes all of his music in his basement, the lo-fi sound is not intentional. In contrast, the nostalgic feel is.
“I unashamedly love reverb. I know it’s a classic thing. I like that spaced out sound. It is kind of nostalgic for me. Nostalgia is a really big part of music for me. If something can make me remember or feel a certain way that I once enjoyed in the past, I really like that,” explains Nakano.
Nakano will be releasing his latest album, Faults, this month. Following Through took longer for him to make, but with Faults “it feels way more organic. I figured out what works. That is what got me really excited about Faults. I’m excited to finish those tracks up. I have been really busy with school and work,” notes Nakano.
On his previous record Nakano did more collaborating in terms of the songwriting process. For Faults, he did things more Han Solo style. “Collaborating is something I like, but right now I’m addicted to just being alone and being in my own headspace and doing it all myself. It is pretty therapeutic. It is a new kind of style — the one person does everything and just gets their friends to play it live,” explains Nakano, who plays with a full band at live Space Classic shows. Nakano plays keyboard and uses his sampler at shows and is accompanied by Ronell Drapeza on guitar, Christian Nakano on guitar, Liam Faucher on bass and Trevor Buttery on the drums.
Faults contains tracks about Nakano’s Christian faith and relationships, but not all lyrics are personal. “I think I make music because it is a challenge. I like the idea of making something that sounds good. That is often a big part of the process. When I make music it is not always this insane art moment thing. Lyrically it is not super personal sometimes. Sometimes I just [write lyrics] that I like the sounds of.”
Currently Nakano is listening to the new Beach House album Depression Cherry. “Some of their organ stuff I really like.” In addition, he enjoys Majical Cloudz’ Are you Alone? and old and new Youth Lagoon, Wild Nothing and Craft Spells. In terms of Christian music, Sufjan Stevens and We Are The City have influenced Space Classic.
There are also many local bands that Nakano is a fan of and some include: Strange Fires, Gender Poutine, Power Buddies, Little Blue and Leap Year. “In the Edmonton music scene everyone is incredibly kind. I find that to be really bizarre; it is not what I expected. I honestly feel that the Edmonton music scene is such a good scene to be in, too. There have been some really cool artists [that have] come out of Edmonton. I think it has its own character. I love it!”
Space Classic’s Faults releases this month.AB, Alberta, Space Classic