Following the release of his addicting singles "Can't Move On," "Stick To Yer Guns," and "Bad People," The Sometimes Island (a.k.a. Matt Blankenship Jr.) has dropped his refreshingly delicious electro-synthpop flavored EP Bad People.
Based in Los Angeles, Blankenship Jr. wrote, performed, and produced all seven tracks on the EP from his home studio, and he's here today to tell you all about his journey in creating this collection of breezy yet poignant hits. Be sure to check out the video in which he talks about the stories behind the songs at the bottom of the post.
Creating the Bad People EP
By Matt Blankenship Jr / The Sometimes Island
Create, accept, reject, rinse & repeat. I had no idea how to make an EP on my own until I did it. I prepared, but never felt ready. Then I realized that being ready isn’t real.
I am a bit of a perfectionist, and the Bad People EP is not perfect. Nothing is, and that’s okay! I learned to begin to let go of being perfect. Perfectionism was and still is a huge source of anxiety for me. I still have really, likely impossibly high standards for myself, and I’m never satisfied. Creating this EP taught me that I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be The Sometimes Island. These songs… I will say that I am actually proud of them. I enjoy the fact that to me - the Bad People EP is the documentation of me coming out of my shell.
I’ve been writing songs for about seventeen years, okay? No disrespect, but that’s how I am. I’ve always wanted to say that - shout out to Ratatat. It’s a true statement now. However, I have only been producing music for about five, in my current capacity. I use Ableton and synths both real and digital.
There is a tendency to go down the rabbit hole when creating music on a laptop. It’s easy to lose focus on the goal; to get bogged down in the details. Perspective is everything. If I’m working endlessly on a synth sound, what does it matter if the song sucks? I learned this the hard way, and there’s a couple tunes that didn’t make it on to the EP that I spent many hours on, with my head in the sand. Failures are incredible, aren’t they? They’re one of the best ways to jump-start growth!
Touring the EP has been a trip. No silly pun intended. I took these songs on the road and learned what they are really about. I thought I knew what worked and what didn’t based on a little feedback from friends and family…nope! What I didn’t know was the larger the sample size, the more accurate the results! Touring the songs off this EP has made them so, so much better.
The live show is the ultimate goal for any song I write. Don’t get me wrong, I listen in my car (and sing like a crazy person). I listen quietly at home while cooking. I love a nice glass of bourbon and a vinyl record on while I take in an album from beginning to end. These are all great, but I didn’t get in to music just because music sounds amazing (it does), or because it makes us all feel the feels. It’s the people. It’s the connection, the group mind - the uninhibited dance moves we didn’t even know we had until a friend shoved us into the dance circle. That is why.
With live performance foremost in my mind, I tend not to write things out of my vocal range or insanely difficult-to-perform parts, because I need to be able to execute live what I’ve set down on a recording. I thought I knew where those limits were, but I was wrong! The Bad People tour has greatly expanded my conception of what my range is, and what my capabilities are as a performer.
I could not be more grateful for the amazing people, eclectic communities and epic dance parties that have made this tour great. The Bad People EP and tour are merely a starting point, and I’m extremely thankful for all the growth opportunities that they afforded so far. It’s a pretty damn good starting point too, if I do say so myself. I want to be the best performer I possibly can be. Both creators of music and the friends who have shared those experiences with me have given me so much inspiration and happiness. My life’s mission is to give that back to others, billions if not trillions of times over. Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this journey, and if you’re just getting here, I’m so glad you are.
The Sometimes Island is currently wrapping up his West Coast tour in promotion of Bad People. If you haven't already, check out the perfect summer playlist he curated just for Musical Notes Global readers. Listen here. And for all of The Sometimes Island's latest news and updates, be sure to follow him on social media: