Smoke Season

Contact

Amanda Blide

Amanda@LaFamos.com

Ask Smoke Season where they get their hazy blend of psychedelic Americana and electro-soul from and they’ll give you two words: “manifest destiny.” Los Angeles-based Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen, the duo that comprises Smoke Season, both grew up around the NYC area, ironically meeting in California after their separate musical paths brought them to make the move west. Their sound stems from what they call “east coast heads and west coast hearts."
From the outside looking in, the first thing one notices about this fiercely independent duo is the buzz that has mounted around them in recent years — earning them a place as "the up and coming band you wish you were in” (Pancakes & Whiskey, 2015). However, it’s where this buzz is generating from that makes for Smoke Season’s most defining characteristic.

Since forming in 2013, Smoke Season has proven themselves to be in a constant state of artistic fervor, with a flurry of activity and creative output surrounding them at all times. They’ve independently released 3 EPs, 5+ music videos, toured tirelessly with internationally known acts and become a regular on the stages of nation-wide festivals, such as SXSW and CMJ.

Judging by their millions of Spotify plays and acclaim from major press outlets (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Clash Magazine, LA Weekly, and The New York Times to name a few), it looks like their hard work is finally paying off.
The duo has consistently (if not stubbornly) foregone traditional routes and branded their artistic output as multi-sensory in nature. Their live show is a great example of this, employing synchronized light shows, smoke and unique sampling — all of which are programmed and executed by the duo. “We want audiences to do more than just hear what we’re making. We want them to see, smell, feel it as a multimedia experience. Jason and I both studied film scoring as college students so a fully immersive experience was somewhat undeniable,” Wortman explains.

Expanding upon this multimedia concept even further, the duo organized their most recent EP, 2016’s Ouroboros EP, as a collection of music videos that combine to form a complete short film. Pairing up with APLUSFILMZ, known for their Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Talib Kweli videos, Wortman and APLUSFILMZ’s Scott Fleishman crafted a screenplay and spent almost a year casting, shooting and editing the film counterpart to the EP.

“At its core, our music is very cinematic. Press, fans and collaborators alike have all pointed this out to us. To us, creating the cinema piece to go along with the music was the obvious next step in maturing our artistic output,” Wortman notes. The duo will be the first to admit the film component was no small feat. They opted to tell the story of human interaction, fate and compassion through a cast of renowned talent including Emmy Award nominee Lexi Ainsworth (General Hospital), Nicole Fox (winner of America’s Next Top Model), Julian De La Celle (Ugly Betty, How To Get Away With Murder) and Nicholas Gonzalez (Bordertown).

With music videos for the first two singles, “Loose” and “When The Smoke Clears”, already out on VEVO, the Ouroboros EP itself is being released digitally on April 15, 2016 with the vinyl and short film following for a summer 2016 release. Sonically speaking, they think this release is poised to be their best musical effort yet.
“The songs on this newest EP really capture the heart and soul of who we are as artists in this moment.” Jason Rosen describes the direction of the songs on this release as "1 part electronic beats, 1 part psychedelic soul and 2 parts whiskey under the Mojave Desert stars.”

So what’s after Ouroboros? “Well, we’ve already begun working on our first full length album,” Rosen admits. “We’ve never been big fans of slowing down.”

Press Releases

09.12.16//Smoke Season Drops Game-Changing Ouroboros EP

Smoke Season Drops Game-Changing Ouroboros EP

Electro-Soul Duo Release EP and Accompanying Short Film

Los Angeles, CA – Indie electro-soul duo, Smoke Season dropped their latest EP, Ouroboros. Packed with Jason Rosen’s ethereal guitar work and Gabrielle Wortman’s mountainous vocal range, Ouroboros is without a doubt Smoke Season’s most lush and fully realized work yet. It is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and limited release physical CDs are available at smokeseason.com/shop.

Smoke Season caught the attention of noted music journalists with their cinematic indie rock and soulful vocals on earlier releases, and the new Ouroboros EP provides us with their most sophisticated sonic effort to date. The EP highlights the layered, ethereal Americana flavor that has become synonymous with Smoke Season, while simultaneously exploring more mature and driving beats as well as their most refined productions and arrangements. The result is a body of work that at times evokes the production styles of Sylvan Esso or The XX and, at others, the psychedelic arrangements and songwriting of The War on Drugs or Tame Impala. In the end, these sonic textures coupled with lead singer, Wortman’s ferocious and dexterous vocals solidifies Smoke Season’s sound in a class all its own.

“The songs on this newest EP really capture the heart and soul of who we are as artists in this moment.” Jason Rosen describes the direction of the songs as "1 part electronic beats, 1 part psychedelic soul and 2 parts whiskey under the Mojave Desert stars.” The first single, “Loose,” is electro-soul at its finest, featuring a driving beat, atmospheric breakdowns and lyrical finesse. In less than 4 minutes, Smoke Season’s “Loose” packs in the versatility and sophistication reminiscent of the best Alt-J or Portishead tracks. The second song on the EP, “When The Smoke Clears,” showcases the duo’s knack for unique vocal sampling off the bat and continues to refine its unique production throughout its length. The third song, “Emilia,” evokes a haunted lullaby with a 1950’s doo-wop-esque chord progression, culminating in a powerful soulful climax. Finally, “Santa Rosa,” drives home Smoke Season’s Americana roots with its Kurt Vile-esque guitar tones and a surprising powerhouse, up-tempo beat. Throughout each song, Smoke Season continually demonstrates lyrical prowess, pulling at our heartstrings with lines like “why can’t simple love me?” “there is gold in our veins” and “leave behind what you can’t chase.” Finally, the EP’s “Intro” and “Outro” serve to further drive home the feeling that the body of work as a whole is a cohesive and emotionally connected feat.

Kyle Draper and Dave Burris of Mateo Sound produced the Ouroboros EP, with additional programming and mix by Chris Mullings (The Neighbourhood, LP).

Ouroboros is, at its core, a concept album and even the EP’s title tells a story, stemming from the Greek symbol of the snake eating itself. “One interpretation of the Ouroboros myth is that destruction is only temporary and we are reborn from the ruin,” Wortman explains. To fully realize this concept, Smoke Season teamed up with Scott Fleishman of APLUSFILMZ to write and develop a short film and story that demonstrates the interconnectedness of the human experience. The duo collaborated with a team of actors, models, writers, producers and crew to create the film. The story plot continues throughout each of the music videos for the EP’s singles. So far, the duo has released the videos for “Loose” and “When The Smoke Clears.” Videos for the remaining tracks will be released later this spring.

Since forming in 2013, Smoke Season has been in a constant state of artistic fervor, independently releasing three EPs (Signals, 2013; Hot Coals Cold Souls, 2014; Bees, 2015), half a dozen music videos, and a tour schedule that featured frequent national runs and regular appearances on the stages of prominent festivals, such as SXSW and CMJ. Their unique musical style captured the attention of major press outlets like Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Clash Magazine, LA Weekly, and The New York Times as well as earned them over four million streams on Spotify.

Visit Smoke Season at www.SmokeSeason.com and download Ouroboros in digital music stores now.

02.07.17//Smoke Season Promotes Female Empowerment With Stylish Cover Video

Smoke Season Promotes Female Empowerment With Stylish Cover Video

Los Angeles, CA – Indie-electronic duo, Smoke Season have taken Lionel Richie’s classic 1984 hit, “Hello” and laced it with fashion and empowerment. In the midst of the attention women have received in the media recently, Smoke Season wanted to showcase the importance of finding self-love. “Hello” is available for streaming on Spotify, for download on iTunes and for viewing on YouTube.




For the creation of their “Hello” cover video, the band assembled a group of powerhouse feminists to work alongside them. Critically acclaimed actress, Megan Duffy, known for her role alongside Elijah Wood in the Cannes Film Festival lauded thriller Maniac, directed the video. Duffy’s vision was for a blend of timelessness, empowerment, tension and style. Throughout the video, a distressed woman fights to find her inner peace. As she begins to unwind from a long day, she finds her oasis and reaches a new level of self-love. “The past couple of months have been trying for women, so we wanted to make a video that focused on female empowerment,” says lead vocalist, Gabrielle Wortman. “After a difficult day, this woman comes home weary and burnt out, but picks herself back up and gets ready for the next challenge.  By the end, she’s done a complete 180 and has found her inner queen.”

Fashion played an integral part of the visual direction for the video. Zoe Zhou, one of Beyoncé’s stylists and notable contributor to her Lemonade video and Super Bowl performance, provided all the styling for the music video. She handpicked every piece used in the project to create an aura of equal parts modern and 1940’s film noir. The band also enlisted social media icon and Schon Magazine beauty producer, Mynxii White, who has previously worked with everyone from Stella McCartney to Marilyn Manson, to provide all of the hair and makeup styling. Women empowerment and self-love are distinct messages in the video. “Women are complex creatures, so we also wanted to portray the many faces of the female personality through the alter egos you see in the video.  This is a Valentine’s Day love story, but instead of pining over a love interest, she’s pining over loving herself — and ultimately does." Rich with dark imagery and whispering melodic vocals, “Hello” exudes feelings of ecstasy.

Based in Los Angeles, Smoke Season has independently released three EPs (Signals, 2013; Hot Coals Cold Souls, 2014; Ouroboros, 2016), a handful of singles, a bevy of cinematic music videos, and a tour schedule that features frequent national runs and regular appearances on the stages of prominent festivals, such as SXSW and CMJ. Their unique musical style has captured the attention of major press outlets like Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Clash Magazine, LA Weekly and The New York Times, while earning them over five million streams on Spotify.

“Hello” is available to download on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify. Watch the cover video now on YouTube and keep up with Smoke Season by visiting SmokeSeason.com.