By Prachi Kamble
Having gained much of his momentum over the past few years as a DJ and producer through festivals, boat parties and dance floors the world over, Legg created his ode to the Californian dolce vita as a direct reflection of the glittering ocean surface that he loving spends his time sailing on.
West of the West has also been instrumental for Legg in dealing with the pressures of his heavy tour schedule. “I tend to return to the strong emotions of my teenage years a lot,” says Legg of his self-proclaimed escapist tendencies. “The older you get, the more life becomes complicated.”
Goldroom first came into being when a friend of Legg’s convinced him to put his research at the University of Southern California on hold in order to spend time DJing across LA under the moniker Nightwave and blogging about it on what would later became an iconic music blog known as Binary. “I loved the writing and the chance to explore my tastes,” reflects Legg. “Blogging was actually my first step in becoming a DJ.”
The rest as they say is history as Legg continues to spend the majority of his time touring around the world far and away from the comforts of his own home. “It’s something I wrestle with all the time,” he explains, going on to describe how he finds inspiration to create new music through personal experiences over anything else. “I feel incredibly lucky to travel and play music, but I watch it erode my life in many ways. Some of the songs sound lonely because that’s what it feels like being on the road.”
Despite the serious revelation surrounding the melancholic background of his new record, the overall sentiment remains joyful and breezy as Legg continues to push beyond his boundaries in song writing and singing. “Before West of the West, I was making music solely for the dance floor, but I had also always been a singer and songwriter. I felt like I hadn’t done a good enough job of bridging the gap between the two and wanted to bring honest song writing into my style of music.”
Collaborating was another first for Legg on this record when an aimless Wednesday afternoon hangout session at a studio in Silverlake with pitchers of mojitos, Nick Stadi and Candy Shields culminated into the bewitching single, “Underwater.” “I wanted an early 90s, Bad Boy Records music video feel [with] an old West Coast, Dr. Dre, daytime pool party video vibe,” he said. “Plus, I wanted to do a disco version of that!”
West of the West could conjure up strong summer feels in the dead of winter. That’s how sensually evocative and brimming with Californian elements the record is; Legg’s fascination with Los Angeles’s culture is evident in it all. From the sweet, synth-pop melodies that beckon pink sunsets, to the plush percussion arrangements that make you want to groove low key until you get hungry for a fiery taco, West of the West screams California in every track.
This exaggerated happiness in the album stems from Legg’s own resistance to bouts of depression, a not so idyllic a childhood and his very un-Californian upbringing in Boston. “You need music that has hope and is real,” he explains. “I’m not trying to paint a blue sky over clouds; I try to do both.”
In the wake of the current political unrest in the United States, Legg noticed a new level of darkness emerging in his work. “I don’t feel like I’m doing the world a lot of good sometimes by flying around the world and playing shows, so I consciously try to find ways to support the community and do more.” The Goldroom shows are supporting two major causes this year, one of them being the Global BrightLight Foundation to provide solar lights to villages in Guatemala.
Goldroom performs aboard the Abitibi Boat June 24th.Abitibi Boat, goldroom