Joey Pecoraro‘s new album, Sea Monster, is submerged in a sense of wonder and awe, and it wells with nostalgic emotion. He created it during the cold, dark winter of Michigan, his longtime home, reflecting on his youth and kindling an oft-forgotten feeling of childhood curiosity and discovery. He released it last week on Daddy Kev’s Alpha Pup label.
It’s been a quick rapid rise for Pecoraro, now 25, beginning at the University of Michigan where he studied film. While there, Pecoraro developed a love for movies from the ’40s and ’50s and decided to recreate the music in his own bedroom. Over time, his cinephile tendencies merged with an interest in electronic music and hip-hop, and this birthed Discography, a collection of 27 lush instrumentals. Three releases followed, including Music For Happiness and Deep In A Dream Of You, another self-release, before Alpha Pup came calling. Musically, Pecoraro’s lo-fi beats seemed a logical fit for the Los Angeles label, with their reassuring melodies and ear-catching hooks.
But the album marked a step forward for Pecoraro, in that beyond the old-school samples and slow-driving rhythms are his own vocals, augmenting a downtempo sonic tapestry that shimmers with pop appeal. He describes the release as an amalgamation of his long-standing love for film and appreciation for electronic music—consider it a soundtrack for soulful soothing.
Pecoraro’s EDMjunkies podcast, recorded in his bedroom, follows a similar sonic tapestry. It features several of his own tracks, plus those from Jameszoo, Daniel Lopatin, and even Bon Iver. It’s warm and inviting, melancholy and bittersweet, contemplative over club-ready, making it the perfect accompaniment to a gentle stroll and a Sunday morning over coffee.
01. What have you been up to recently?
A lot of writing music, enjoying my time at home with family, and sleeping in. Trying to stay healthy and in a positive mindset with everything going on.
02. Which artists have you been listening to during lockdown?
Burno Pernadas, Westerman, and Matt Berry. Their whole catalogs have been on repeat.
03. You just released your new album on Alpha Pup. How are you feeling about it?
I feel great. It has been finished for a long time now, so just happy the world finally has it and people can hear it.
04. Can you talk to me about your route into music, and the story behind the album?
I was introduced to computer music in high school and made songs with my friends just for fun. I went to college at the University of Michigan and studied film. I was impressed and inspired by the music in older movies, from the ’40s and ’50s. I decided to try and create music that felt like it belonged in those moments of inspiration for me. Sea Monster is an amalgamation of a lot of my older style with new inspiration I’ve found in more current electronic music.
05. What setup did you use to make it?
My bedroom setup, so a computer, guitar, mic, and controller.
06. How did the connection with Alpha Pup come about?
My manager, Chris, introduced me to Daddy Kev and the rest is history. I’ve been a fan of so many things they’ve worked on over the years, it’s been really great working with them. I’m happy to be a part of their story.
07. Where and when did you record this mix?
During the early stages of lockdown in my room in Michigan.
08. What can we expect with it?
Lots of new, lots of old, and some of the same. I just want people to have a nice time.
09. How did you select the tracks that you’ve included?
I dug through a lot of my personal playlists that I’ve been listening to, and my listening history over the past few months. A lot of this stuff inspired the album, and the rest of it was a nice departure once the album was finished.
10. How does it compare to what we’d hear you play in a club?
No different, I don’t really have a club vibe show. I do the same show regardless of venue.
11. What are your longer-term ambitions with music?
To score a full-length film.
12. What’s next, as you look forward?
I want to continue to write music and grow as a human being. I’ve got another project in the works, hopefully things keep resonating with my fans. I’ve been extremely fortunate so far.
EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
01. Jameszoo “Flake” (Brainfeeder)
02. Natalino Otto “Non So Dir Ti Voglio Bene” (Fonit)
03. Damu the Fudgemonk “Coco Mango feat. MF DOOM” (Redefinition)
04. Joey Pecoraro “Shout In Our Heart” (Alpha Pup)
05. Bon Iver “PDLIF” (Jagjaguwar)
06. Andrew Applepie “Capricorn” (Fett Music)
07. Photay “Reconstruct feat. Seafloor” (Astro Nautico)
08. Joey Pecoraro “Lightning” (Alpha Pup)
09. Leif Vollebekk “Elegy” (Secret City Records)
10. Dopplar “Over the Light” (SWM Sounds)
11. Vulfpeck “Wait for the Moment” (Vulf Records)
12. Joey Pecoraro “The Charming Creature” (Alpha Pup)
13. Westerman “Your Hero is Not Dead” (PTKF)
14. Joey Pecoraro “It Is All Connected” (Alpha Pup)
15. Daniel Lopatin “The Ballad of Howie Bling” (Warp Records)
16. Nick Leng “Lemons” (SOTA Records)
17. St. Francis Hotel “Milkshake (Portugal the Man Remix)” (30th Century Records)
18. Joey Pecoraro “Kaleidoscope” (Alpha Pup)
19. Chantal Chamberland “La Mer” (Governess Music)
20. Michael Franti & Spearhead “People In The Middle” (Capitol Records)
21. Falside “Easy Does It” (Falside)
22. Joey Pecoraro “Gummy Bears and Sleeping in Alone” (Alpha Pup)