Hearing about new bands or artists in Central Oregon is the best news. So when Faded Rituals reached out to introduce its musical project and first single, this music writer was stoked.
Faded Rituals is a duo made up of Nick Byron Campbell and Kevin Theodore. As Campbell tells it, the two started making music together around three years ago, during a late night jam sesh. The two previously met during an artist residency in Oakland, California, and while Theodore was out West visiting, they decided to make some music for fun. The rest is history, as they say.
"What started as a casual hang turned into one of the most productive sessions of my life. We knocked out the basis for four songs in a few hours and haven't stopped since then," recalls Campbell. "Since we both are involved in various artistic endeavors and live far apart, the project took a long time to get from that night to today. During the time between, I moved with my two-year-old, wife and dog to Bend."
Campbell sings, plays guitar, drums and bass, while Theodore (now based in Los Angeles) plays keys, synths and programs beats for Faded Rituals' intricate and almost dream-sounding production. Campbell says the two are excited to get to play their first shows in Bend once things are safer for everyone, but notes the pandemic hasn't blown the pair's creativity. They have been working on opposite coasts for the duration of their partnership, so making music together remotely is natural for Faded Rituals.
The debut song from the duo is titled "Summertime Forever," which Campbell describes as a "tongue-and-cheek song about being in denial during what can feel like the end times/catastrophic climate change."
"It wasn't necessarily intentional. Generally, political and environmental issues float around my mind whether I want them to or not (that can probably be said for many of us in 2020). And so these issues tend to pop up in my lyrics. The song started as an instrumental piece driven by beats and progressions that Kevin wrote. It had a laid back, summery feel to it," says Campbell. "I started playing with that lyrically and at some point this idea of kicking back and enjoying an endless summer popped into my mind. In decades past that might have sounded like an ode to eternal youthfulness or something, but in our current context the idea took on a sinister undertone—relaxing through a climate apocalypse, enjoying the warmer weather despite what that weather means in reality."
The song is both chilling and beautiful at the same time. There's a softness to it that provides that sense of eeriness to back the meaning behind the lyrics, and paired together with Campbell's high-pitched vocals, "Summertime Forever" comes out as a great ambient-pop song and great debut from the duo.
Keep your eyes out for Faded Rituals' name, as the pair brings a brand of electronic music not often popularized here in Central Oregon. The group even has an EP in the works we might be seeing sooner than later.
"The EP is nearly finished. One last piece of music is being mixed now," Campbell hinted. "So really, it's just about deciding how to get it into the world, which is usually the hardest part of making music! We will likely release a single a month until it's all out there. Then perhaps it's time to start work on the next batch of songs."
Listen to "Summertime Forever" on Apple Music, Spotify or Soundcloud.