“A simple and beautiful ode to healing, foregoing metaphors for straight-forward confessions.” – Consequence Of Sound
Photo Ops, the project of Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Terry Price, will release Pure at Heart on September 18 via Western Vinyl (pre-order). “Play On” the first single to be lifted from the forthcoming release is available to share at SoundCloud or Spotify to add to your favorite playlists.
As Photo Ops, Price creates dream pop with a tinge of folk. Pure at Heart was inspired in part by Price’s time listening to and studying Bob Dylan‘s Sirius XM show, “Theme Time Radio Hour” while driving through the Southwest. He explains “I was learning that what made a lot of older music magical, was the performers having to work with limitations. So you had to rely on human performance and the energy you could conjure in real time, in the moment, to communicate your idea.”
Since his 2013 debut, How to Say Goodbye, his compact, richly textured songs have garnered over a million plays on Spotify with their eminently hummable melodies, deeply personal lyrics, and earnest, resonant vocals. His sophomore effort, Vacation, came in 2016 and solidified Photo Ops’ reputation forcombining beautifully melodic production with raw emotionality. In that same year, he signed a publishing deal with Secretly Canadian and saw several of his songs licensedfor film and TV.
After relocating from Nashville (where some referenced him as one of the best pop songwriters in town) to Los Angeles, new songs began to emerge that are among the best of his career. In these new tracks, Price captures the feeling of leaving the old behind and embracing the unknown that’s ahead, and he reflects back an impressionistic take on the space and mystery of traveling through the American West. While he continues to evolve and synthesize his own brand of pop sensibility and hymn-like lullaby, here he introduces a stripped-down, natural aesthetic that relishes limited instrumentation.
Another big change in these songs lies in Price’s voice. There is a clarity to the upper register, as he relaxes into high notes in a way that calls to mind the Beach Boys’ Carl Wilson. It’s partly an accident of location, Price says. “In Nashville, I had a garage. Icould go out and make as much noise as I wanted. In LA, you have to be thoughtful about your neighbors.” The need to sing quietly has opened up a whole new vocal palette for Price, allowing him to experiment with space and restraint.
For the recording of Pure at Heart, Price and a friend turned the living room of his 575 square foot apartment into a studio. “We mostly stuck with the instruments and gear I had on hand and tried to make it sound just as inspired as when we had more of a traditional studio at our disposal.We nailed packing blankets to the walls and ceilings of my living room and created a studio in my apartment. This forced us to rely less on bells and whistles, more on the strength of the musical ideas and performance.”