LUTALO finds inspiration in unique places

24-year-old, Vermont based Lutalo Jones is a rising star in the indie-rock realm, already garnering praise from the likes of Robin Peckhold and Adrianne Lenker early on in their career. Last year’s AGAIN EP is pure, fuzzed-out bliss, and now this week, they’ve just dropped the new single ‘Running’, which has them collaborating with fellow up-and-comer Claud. A lot of musicians wear their influences on their sleeves, but for LUTALO, it’s not so abundantly clear. Luckily, they were kind enough to walk us through some of the things that have influenced their music thus far. Check out the video for ‘Running’ below, and read on for a slice of leftfield inspirations across various artforms and disciplines.

Legend of Zelda 
If you don’t already know, Legend of Zelda is a video game series owned by Nintendo. I find the colours and sound design for these games really inspiring. They made me excited for the journey of life as a kid. The magic of the game permeates through to its music score which is composed mostly by Koji Kondo. He just has this amazing ability to create an atmosphere that compliments the gameplay perfectly.

School House Rock 
I grew up with a box set of old School House Rock educational videos. My dad said he’d watch them when he was a kid when they popped on in between commercial breaks. Not only did I learn my numbers and grammar from it, but it was riddled with musically genius catchy tracks, the most famous of which is probably ‘Three is the Magic Number’. In general, its discography had a variety of genres with that warm 70’s tape feel, and I got my love of lofi from these videos without a doubt.  

Frank L. Wright 
An American architect that largely influenced modern architecture. A kind of grandfather of the modern American house if you will. I’m not even a crazy fan of his, but I still have an appreciation of his work. I got to check out some of his first houses and buildings he made in Chicago. To me many of them can feel very cold and brutal, a very masculine display. For the time, it definitely was revolutionary and directed largely what you see today. I’d say that intense statement of the United States through architecture is something I was attempting to reflect in my work as well. 

Credit: Aily Zelster

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Directed by Edgar Wright, this was a very influential film as a kid for me. It kind of introduced me to indie rock right when I was going through one of my first independent musical discovery phases. I just would look for music that I could imagine being in that film. It’s a goofy movie, and makes a lot of funny commentary on the music industry. I like to just imagine I’m a character in the movie or the original graphic novel. Sometimes I try to make things that I feel would fit in that world. That’s how I got to the vibe of some of these tracks. 

Super Smash Brothers 
Another Nintendo game! A battle royale style platformer fighting game with all your favourite Nintendo characters. Being a big fan of lots of the Nintendo series’, this was the perfect game for me as a kid. I could mix and match any characters I wanted and make them fight. The best kind of freedom. I don’t know how this relates to my EP AGAIN. But, I remember telling my friend that my only big goal in music was to get to a point where I’d log in online to play, and someone would recognise my name. 

Blu dot 
A furniture company based out of Minneapolis MN. One of my best friends’ father is a cofounder of the company and I was lucky enough to intern for them a little. Their approach to modern design is very minimalist. I’m not always a fan of minimalism but the lesson I learned from them was hitting things with the “simple card”. Musically I try not to over do my productions; the sounds and parts I add need to serve a purpose, practically or aesthetically stating something. 

Both LUTALO’s EP AGAIN and new single ‘Running’ are available now via Bandcamp and all major streaming services.

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