Tristan McNeil aka Nude With Lyre grew up in Augusta, Georgia and was trained primarily in the visual fine arts, but also classical and jazz music as a child. He spent his early years after high school working as a dishwasher and a line cook, occasionally playing in local bar bands, and later working as a graphic designer and concert video editor.
His debut album Blood -- announced, perhaps fittingly, just before the bleakness of the early November election season -- is out December 9th via self-release. It began as a score for a friend’s short-film - documenting desolate scenes of his hometown and “violence-out-of-boredom.” Inspired by the “empty 1970s nostalgia” and “pop music distorted by shitty speakers and poor acoustics,” he created an atmosphere of retro synth sounds displaced by futuristic production ideas – blasts of sub bass, treated vocals, and an offbeat layering of rhythms akin to the phasing of Steve Reich. The drip-dropping falsetto in the new track "Purple", premiering today via Big Shot Magazine, is an intriguing counterpoint to the otherworldly, repetitive nature of the previously released album track "Pleasure". Listen to "Purple" on Soundcloud.
When the film unexpectedly came to a halt, Tristan was left with music that he felt intimately connected to and constructed his own narrative for the music. Adding and subtracting layers and modifying sounds over a period of two years, the music evolved into a deeply personal work of droning post-pop akin to Grouper, Laurel Halo, and Ian William Craig.
“It’s an album about my own experience, working shitty food service jobs in a small southern town…moments of getting lost in sublime fantasy interrupted by the vulgar realness of excessive exhaust from passing cars, humid air saturated with the chemical smell of paper plants...and finding ecstasy in monotony.”