NYC-based artist, blogger, and performer. A lover of thrifting, collector of Spotify playlists, and enthusiast of cheap wine.
Oftentimes, when we listen to modern music, we tend to pick out the influences that paved the way for that artist or song to presently exist. As an artist, paying homage to who broke ground first while maintaining your autonomy is an arduous task–one that will push you past boundaries you never knew existed. In 1996, the cult-favorite Japanese psychedelic rock band Fishmans released an album titled Aerial Camp (空中キャンプ) that has transcended time. Over 25 years later, a group from South Jersey stumbled across Fishmans’ discography. Transfixed, the band has spent the better part of two years creating a tribute album titled I LOVE FISH comprised of nine covers of popular Fishmans songs, including BABY BLUE, a six minute shoegaze spiral.
As one can imagine, there were many moving pieces to produce this machine of an album. Frontman Keith Abrams sought the help of a Japanese-speaking friend and together they translated the lyrics to English. Innovative recording techniques involving mannequin heads and dangling utensils from a bike tire on the ceiling recreated that necessary Fishmans flavor. Their complex creative process is nothing short of a marvel. What makes both BABY BLUE, and I LOVE FISH as a whole so worth the listen is the knowledge of how rewardingly strenuous the journey from conception to production was. There is a level of adaptability required in constructing a tribute album, especially one in an entirely different language.
Pine Barons’ zany yet brilliant methods have allowed them to keep one foot in 1996 and another in the present. Highlighting their own genius without stripping Fishmans of theirs with precision, immense care, and fun, they have accomplished a feat not many would dare undertake, and proved their artistic prowess in the process.