Modern Nomad

Now Spinning: Modern Nomad ‘There It Is, There You Are’

Indie pop record There It Is, There You Are by Modern Nomad sounds flawless on white vinyl from Soul Step Records. Soul Step denotes the 2021 album as “psychedelic indie pop for fans of Tame Impala, Mac Demarco, and Toro Y Moi.” Furthermore, There It Is, There You Are is a surprising nod to The Beach Boys and The Beatles. This week, we chat with Tom McLean, solo artist under the moniker Modern Nomad, about his most recent album.

Pick up the white vinyl from Soul Step Records HERE!

Modern Nomad

Q&A with Modern Nomad //

PDLR: Soul Step Records mentions similarities to Tame Impala, Mac Demarco, and Toro Y Moi, as well as influences from The Beatles and The Beach Boys. 

Do you have other influences or anecdotes to share about what inspired There It Is, There You Are?

Modern Nomad: “Harry Nilsson is one of my biggest influences, he is at the top of my list! As for the overall inspiration, I wrote and recorded this record at a time when I entered a long-term relationship. I spent two months with my partner, hanging out and getting to know each other basically every day. It went from that to long distance. Navigating the newness of distance inspired a lot of these songs. Specifically, the song “Feel This Way Forever” has a lot of lyrics about our relationship.”

PDLR: “Baby, I Love You,” “Electrify,” and “I Want You to Stay” have an evident influence from The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

What specific elements in your music draw inspiration from these iconic bands?

Modern Nomad: “I love the harmonies in The Beatles and The Beach Boys’ music. Harmony is something that I spend a lot of time on, so I’ll obsess over stacking vocals. The balance of simplicity and complexity is an element I admire in The Beatles’ music. They’ll have weird chord changes that don’t seem to fit, yet they work out smoothly. I will undeniably be searching for a McCartney-quality melody my entire life.”

PDLR: Can you discuss the songwriting process for There It Is, There You Are?

Modern Nomad: “I write, record, and produce everything myself, so the process changes from song to song. Several songs, like “All in My Dreams,” were recorded and worked on for over a year, whereas I finished “Get a Little Closer” in one night. Usually, I’ll start with an idea for a chord progression and part of a melody; then, I produce a track around it. Once I arrange and map out the idea, then I’ll finish writing the verses, choruses, and bridges. Writing like this also allows me to revisit songs if something else I did in a newer song inspires me. I love having that freedom.”

PDLR: How would you describe the album’s sound to someone who has never heard your music?

Modern Nomad: “Maybe something like if The Beatles in 1967 had access to Ableton, 80’s synths, and were listening to the Spotify playlist ‘Modern Psychedelia’ a lot.”

Our Favorite Tracks //

“Reflection” -A captivating intro track to the 10-song LP. “Reflection” oozes psychedelic indie rock à la Tame Impala.

“Get a Little Closer” -On this second track, Modern Nomad brings a sultry, mellow vibe that sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Get a Little Closer” is our favorite tune, based solely on the smooth instrumentals.

“Baby, I Love You” -This track that draws clear inspiration from The Beatles and The Beach Boys. We go back and forth between connections of the two iconic bands in “Baby, I Love You.” Catchy, cute, timeless, and undoubtedly nostalgic.

“Electrify” -Infectious and quite literally electrifying. It’s as if The Beatles and Tame Impala came together right now over this song.

“Feel This Way Forever” -A psychedelic, dreamy track with jazzy undertones. “Feel This Way Forever” has a perfect fade-out on vinyl into the album’s last two tracks.

*Soul Step Records upfronts the cost of vinyl production for new artists. For more information on Soul Step Records and their mission, visit their website or follow them on Instagram below.

// FOLLOW SOUL STEP RECORDS // FOLLOW MODERN NOMAD //

// PREVIOUS NOW SPINNING POST //

Aquarius Purple

Now Spinning: Marcus Machado Aquarius Purple

We are head over heels for this Purple Ink Spot repress of Marcus Machado’s 2021 debut album, Aquarius Purple from Soul Step Records*. Described as “guitar driven rhythm and funk for fans of Raphael Saadiq and Jimi Hendrix,” something kept calling me to spin this album.

Aquarius Purple is a Guitar & B type record with funky instrumental tracks such as “Aq Intro” and “Table Dance.” Marcus Machado’s style, rooted in soul, rhythm, and dream-like instrumentals, sends you into temporary reverie. Throughout the galactic sounding journey of the album, music fans may also liken Machado to Thundercat or Black Pumas. “Let’s Play” is a soul-heavy instrumental track contrasted by “Her,” a funky dance-beat bop. Collaborative sounds from Jermaine Holmes, Daru Jones, JSWISS, Ahrel Lumzy, and TFOX make Aquarius Purple an eccentric album with striking layers.

Pick up the Purple Ink Spot variant from Soul Step Records HERE!

Aquarius Purple

// Favorite Tracks //

“Let’s Play”

“Tomorrow Never Knows”

“Her”

“Running”

*Soul Step Records pays the upfront costs of vinyl production for new artists. For more information on Soul Step Records, their mission, store, and contact info, visit their website or follow them on Instagram below.

// FOLLOW SOUL STEP RECORDS // FOLLOW MARCUS MACHADO //

// PREVIOUS POST //

Dream Vinyl Room Decor

The idea for this room started as an imaginary dream considering I didn’t own a single vinyl record or turntable. For those of you that have seen One Tree Hill, you will understand when I that say Peyton Sawyer’s room was music lover GOALS. Her immense vinyl collection inspired me to want to create a similar space. So, I began collecting vinyl records little by little. I am nowhere near close to her wall-to-wall library, but that’s the fun in building a collection.

I also started to collect some things and “pin” lots of decor inspiration for what would be our future “vinyl room.” The only thing holding me back was moving from place to place and not having the ideal space.

Once I started collecting records, it didn’t take long to realize that it might become a bit of an obsession. Plus, I had already built up quite the collection of tour posters, albums, books, magazines, and tickets from countless shows.

If you’re into music and vinyl, you can surely incorporate your interests and feature your favorite artists. Let me take you on a shortened journey of how to turn your music memories into a dream room.

THE LISTENING SPACE

You will want to find a space that is away from distractions. It could be a bonus room, basement, office, formal living room, or even a cozy corner in your home. Our space is right inside the front door of our house and, yes, it screams, “Welcome to our home; I’m a crazy music addict!” It has quickly become a relaxation spot (for the fur babies and me anyway).

The room has double French doors which are helpful to close if we don’t want the music to carry throughout the house. It is a decent-sized room with two windows that look out onto the front yard. I foresee this being an office or a place where our family can hang out and spend time technology-free.

THE THEME

I’m not going to pretend that the theme didn’t have anything to do with my favorite band, The 1975, because it so clearly did. I found a few modern, black & white, minimalist style pieces and built the rest around it with pops of color. I am by no means an interior designer. The room itself has to do more with the music rather than the way that each piece goes together.

The idea of the theme came from three lyric prints that I found on Etsy. The prints used the minimalist style to incorporate lyrics from different The 1975 songs. Etsy is a great place to find just about anything personalized that you want to add to your home. Although it appears that the shop I used has closed, you can quickly type in an artist’s name and browse decor pieces. The prints I found are mostly black and white with lyrics from “Robbers,” “The City,” and “Chocolate.” Check them out below!

Vinyl Room decor

The next several items that I added to the collection were mostly furniture items. Wayfair is a great place to start if you are looking for unique inexpensive pieces like the teal loveseat pictured above. To continue with the modern/geometric ‘box’ theme, I added a cube bookcase also from Wayfair. These types of shelves are great to display music-related books, magazines, CDs, and small decorative items. Target came through with two significant pieces that I LOVE! The mirror pictured below couldn’t be more perfect if you are into // THAT KINDA THING // and I’m in love with this calligraphy accent chair. Thanks, Suzanne!

Vinyl Room decor
The Tom Petty lyric decal was another an Etsy find. It is linked here!
Vinyl Room decor
The accent chair, mirror, and lamp are ALL from Target!

THE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE

The last major decor piece that I added did not come at an effortless price. This was the item that I honestly thought my husband was going to lose his mind over when I purchased it. So, I ordered this beauuuuutiful chandelier from Turkey….amateur mistake as she was not wired for the U.S. I learned the hard way that that wasn’t a smart purchase and sent her back a few weeks later. Anyway, I found her twin sister right in Naperville, IL via my mother-in-law and ordered an authentic Turkish style chandelier from Little Light Bazaar (who also has fantastic customer service). If you are interested in this type of fixture, save yourself the headache and order from her.

Vinyl Room decor

THE GALLERY WALL

The concept of the gallery wall can be applied to any room and can be made up of whatever kind of pictures and frames you want. Once it’s up, you can always interchange the prints or posters to reflect the time in your life. Our wall is probably 90% complete, still room for improvement.

The gallery wall for the music room started with several artist posters that I collected over the years. Some are from album releases, concerts, online exclusives, and lyric artwork. My wall currently displays fifteen different pieces in different styles of frames. Only two sets of the frames are identical and placed on opposite sides of the wall. The rest of the frames have different finishes and styles but are all black, white, and silver tones. The center focus frame is a teal blue that matches the love seat and other accent pieces in the room. You can mix and match frames, but be careful when it comes to the color palette as to not create too much distraction. If you are going for a semi-symmetrical look, make sure that your frame colors are balanced.

It also helps if you lay out all of the framed pieces on the floor before you start hanging. That way, you can fit them all together, create the balance you want, and visualize your final gallery wall.

The credit for the hanging of the wall goes to my lovely husband. He did an excellent job making my vision come to life. You can find some of the best frames on Amazon, The Rusty Roof, Craig Frames, The Frame Market, and ArtToFrames.

Vinyl Room gallery wall
It’s not finished as you can see and there’s still some room!
Vinyl Room gallery wall

THE MUSIC

While the whole room focuses on vinyl albums, you can also feature several of your favorite artists in the decor items. You can find chic ways to display new artists and records in the room. The go-to place for vinyl storage decor is, yet again, Etsy! The pieces in our room include posters, lyric art, a neon sign, and artwork done by the AMAZING Jack Coulter featuring two of my favorite songs: Me & Paris.

Vinyl Room decor and artwork
Melody soaking up the sun and the beauty of Jack Coulter’s artwork. From left: Me, Paris. She also ADORES this Lotus Leaf Cat Shelf from Refined Feline.

The other artists featured are my girl T. Swift, Ed Sheeran, Prince, Tom Petty, James Bay, Andrew McMahon, Saint Raymond, and currently The Maine, Bear’s Den, & Jack’s Mannequin. The shelf pictured with the chandelier is perfect for displaying the albums that you are now playing. You can find this vinyl storage rack on Etsy to show off some of your other favs.

The possibilities are endless with a music room, especially if you have a concert addiction and enjoy collecting vinyl. Maybe it’s not a vinyl room but a vinyl corner to start. You can even convert your pets into music fans as well!

Check out more details of my vinyl room on Pinterest.