As a former member of venerable indie outfits like The Cusacks, The Proper Nouns and The New Gentle Soul, Travis Kokas was well suited to take on his newest project Cryptids After Dark. The project finds Kokas drawing from a wide range of influences such as The Byrds, Sloan, and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, while also paying tribute to artists such as Lush, Ride, Tame Impala, The Fresh & Onlys, Duran Duran, The Cure, and New Order in his use of guitar and synth effects to invoke emotions.
All of this can be heard on the band’s forthcoming debut album Some Distant Light, which is set for release via Charlottesville label Hibernator Gigs on December 8th.Initially intended to be an EP, the album took six years to complete. Scrapping the EP idea, Kokas returned to Charlottesville in 2015 to record six more tracks with Gibson once again on bass/backing vocals and Adam Brock handling the drums this time around. Overdubs for both sessions were recorded by Kokas at his home in Columbus, Ohio and completed in 2016.
Though the songs cover a ten-year period, common themes of uncertainty and traveling into the unknown, emotional pain and loss, and obsession with outcasts emerge. Kokas says, “I find it difficult to write songs when I’m content. It is easier for me to write when I’m anxious and somewhat reflective at the same time. Also, I often find myself observing people I don’t know in a variety of settings and imagining what their lives must be like. My songs are usually a synthesis sof the scenarios I have created about these strangers I’m observing and my own emotional state in a setting that is distant and nebulous.”
Today Glide is excited to offer a sneak peek of the album Some Distant Light. The album incorporates elements of synth pop, new wave and “shoegaze,” in addition to Kokas’ trademark 60s influenced jangle pop. Overall, it is an exciting debut from a scene veteran who is clearly carving out a sound that is entirely his own.
Cryptids After Dark’s Travis Kokas offers up the story behind the album:
The album is a collection of songs that I wrote between 1999 and 2008 but never used in the bands I was playing in at the time. I recorded most of the album in Charlottesville, VA over two sessions with my longtime friend and former band mate Dave Gibson (Weird Mob) serving as producer/bassist and Kris Hough (Weird Mob) and Adam Brock (Borrowed Beams Of Light) splitting time on the drums. I initially intended the album to be a 4-song EP, with the first session starting in 2010. The EP idea was eventually scrapped in favor of a full-length album, and six additional songs were recorded in 2015. I recorded additional guitars and keyboards at home in Columbus, OH and completed the record in 2016.
Cryptids After Dark release Some Distant Light on December 8. For more music and info visit them on Bandcamp.
Photo credit: Dave Gibson