“Sundown in Oaktown”, out January 27th, is the latest release from triton., the musical project of Scott Murphy. The album is an exciting introduction to a raw talent, who makes genre-bending, prismatic music, in service of human connection and the quest for identity.
The album was co-produced by Geoff Rickly from Thursday (No Devotion, United Nations) who also performs on “alcatraz.” Sundown In Oaktown also features contributions from Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, The Almost), AJ Perdomo (The Dangerous Summer), Tim Payne (Thursday, LS Dunes) played bass on “_EMBRKDRO_,” “orchids,” “alcatraz” and Jarrod Alexander (My Chemical Romance, Alkaline Trio, Death By Stereo, The Suicide File) contributed drums to “_sangre_azul_,” and “orchids.” The release was mixed/mastered by Jesse Cannon.
We caught up with Scott to talk about the new album and how living in Hawaii and Oakland has influenced the music he makes.
Hi Scott! How’s everything going right now?
Hello! Things are going. It’s a weird time, that pocket right before the release, so it’s part excitement, part agony, and everything in between, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve put a lot into this to get to the point I’m at and am stoked to be on the cusp of releasing the album.
What classic album cover is your current mood?
Hmmmm, How far back do we have to go to be “classic?” I’m gonna say “This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About” by Modest Mouse.
Your new album “Sundown in Oaktown” is out next week. Where did you write and record the tracks?
I wrote the songs, in one form or another, spanning across the past decade. Some were written on the beach of Kahalu’u in Keauhou. Some were written in an attic in Fruitvale, Oakland. Some were written in an apartment on Lake Washington, and the rest were done in my apartment in Seattle, WA. I recorded them all at home at the latter during 2020.
You’ve worked with a lot of great artists on the record – how did they become involved in the project?
It was all very serendipitous, and I think we all were itching to create while being cooped up in 2020. I reached out to all of them and they were all game to collaborate. First I got AJ and Aaron on a couple tracks. Then I started working with Geoff. Then I brought Tim and Jarrod on board. The whole thing kinda snowballed from there.
If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Tough question. You could ask me this question ten different days and get ten different answers. But, you’re looking for an answer now, so today I’ll say “For Emma, Forever Ago” by Bon Iver
It’s the follow up to your debut “Washed Up” which was released in 2017. What have you been up to since its release?
Honestly, it took me a while to bounce back after releasing Washed Up, I had to do a lot of soul searching. It was my first album, first release, I had skewed expectations, and no experience putting out music. I had poured a lot into the music, but didn’t really know anything about any other aspects of releasing music, it’s a continual learning process. I got a bit down on it all and had to wander the wilderness, before returning to writing. I tried to get going on Sundown in Oaktown a few times before it really started moving in 2020, so that time period was a test of my resilience and determination. I’m stronger for it and learned a lot along the way, but it was up and down.
You grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii before moving to Oakland (very different!) – how have those two places affected your sound?
The places I’ve lived are muses to my writing, and I try to bring sounds of each to the songs. The places both have affected me as a person in a profound way, as well as my character trajectory and personality building. Sonically, Hawaii gave me a tropical soundscape as a backdrop, and Oakland introduced some more industrial, gritty honesty and edge. “Washed Up” was Hawaii-themed, and I carried some of those sounds over with me to “Sundown in Oaktown” and added new sounds of the Bay into the mix there, and I’ll carry sounds from both along with me to the next.
Do you have any plans to tour “Sundown in Oaktown” this year?
I am currently exploring this possibility, so stay tuned.
What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Ham/Canadian bacon – (no, no pineapple!) Let’s throw some fresh mozzarella and fresh basil on it while we’re at it. Red sauce, of course. Side of ranch. Pepper flakes and parmesan. And we can call it “Da Punatic”
What do you have planned for the rest of 2023?
Got a lot of music cookin. Want to finish as much as I can and see where I’m at. I would love to get another album out.
Photo Credit – Sabrina Alvarez