Premiere: Tree Machines, ‘Fade On’

Tree Machines (Photo by Kasia Nawrocka)
Tree Machines (Photo by Kasia Nawrocka)

A couple years ago, Douglas Wooldridge and Patrick Aubry packed their bags, pointed their car west and left Lawrence, Kan., in favor of Los Angeles. Holing up in the Valley, where they converted a garage into a studio, the duo began work on their next chapter as Tree Machines. Along with producer Mike Giffin, they have been crafting their debut full-length, “Up for Air.”

Theirs is a big, urgent, liberating sound, outsized indie-rock with pop choruses and churning electronics, a soundtrack to being unleashed from their former lives.  And, in the case of the new single “Fade On,” insistent beats that propel the verses — like quick cuts on drug- and booze-addled party culture — toward a huge finish. “To me, this track is a sister song to our very first single ‘Fucking Off Today,’” says singer-lyricist Wooldridge, referring to their 2015 meditation on Midwestern malaise. “What draws these people to congregate in rundown warehouses and fields across the world with minds blown and bodies stuck in seemingly perpetual motion? It’s the music, the vibes, the feeling of being surrounded by strangers that are just like you: faded and confused.”

Wooldridge says he had the song started when he took a trip to Ireland, when, on the flight back, “I’d just settled into my seat with a drink in hand and a pencil tucked behind my ear when I look up to see Thom Yorke walking past me,” he says. “I worked up enough courage to go shake his hand and tell him he’s an idol of mine, and then I went back to my seat, downed my drink, ordered a second and finished ‘Fade On’ by the time we were over the Atlantic.”

||| Stream: “Fade On”

||| Also: Stream “Weights and Stones” and “Waiting on the Sun”