By Juliana Rock and Colin Gallant
CALGARY – Samwise Carlson began playing music at age 10 and was already doing open mics in the Boise, ID, music scene by age 18. Perhaps fittingly, there’s a child-like sense of fantasy and innocence in their output as Tispur. Fresh off the release of debut album Sleepy Creature, Tispur spoke to BeatRoute about the record and a particularly bumpy tour.
The songs on Sleepy Creature sound as if they are set in a dream. Where did that come from?
I was homeschooled most of my life, and just read a lot of fantasy books and immersed myself in fantasy in general, so I definitely drew a lot of inspiration from that while writing all of the music. I also listen to a lot of Joanna Newsom, and dream-folk songwriters like that. I aim to write music that’s like a pillow and a blanket—really comfy and magical. I also lyrically want to talk about real stuff: I’ve kind of been digging the term magic realism lately.
I think the overall aim is just like a comfortable, sleepy creature…. Thinking about it, I actually really miss being a child, being really enwrapped in this magical world that I was living in where I was just reading fantasy books all of the time and the innocence of it.
Do you mainly figure out your sounds through experimentation, or do you have a clear idea in your head of what you want to create?
Most of the accompaniment and the post mixing I just kind of figured out on the spot through experimenting. I’ve been recording for a few years and my favorite part is recording something and then adding stuff to it… My recording mate Brett [Nicholas Hawkins] toned me down a bit. We just kind of made it minimalistic because I would’ve gone wild [making additions].
What has it been like seeing your debut album come together?
It’s been awesome, I mean I feel really relieved and I feel good to have something out there now and I can kind of move on from it and create more music. I’ve been writing a lot lately so I’m excited to work on another thing but I also realize I just released it, so I do feel an obligation to continue to play those songs.
I understand you’re currently on tour. How has that been?
It’s been crazy. We got rear ended in Denver pretty bad, so my car got pretty destroyed. We also had some gear stolen in Kansas. Yeah, it’s not been the best one, but definitely a learning experience. Touring is unlike anything else. Time moves so slowly because you’re learning so much and experiencing so much new stuff. You’re going to cities you’ve never been to and navigating audiences. You’re playing the same songs in front of different people every night. Some nights people really dig it, some nights people don’t care at all. You just kind of learn to navigate that. It’s definitely a weird, weird experience, but overall positive.
Tispur performs on June 21 at the King Eddy and on June 23 at The Palomino.King Eddy, Sled Island, Sled Island 2017, Sleepy Creature, The Palomino, Tispur