“Pure at Heart,” the new album of dreamy folk music from Photo Ops (out Friday), is the sound of a songwriter in awe of his new surroundings and making sense of his place in them. In today’s QUARANTUNES, Terry Price talks about coping with mood swings and shares a playlist that soundtracks them.
THE LATEST FROM PHOTO OPS
Singer-songwriter Terry Price — aka Photo Ops — has taken well to Los Angeles since moving here three years ago. And Angelenos, especially fans of indelible melodies and evocative imagery — should take well to “Pure at Heart,” the new Photo Ops album arriving Friday via Western Vinyl.
“When I wrote this album, I had just moved to L.A. and was really inspired by the natural beauty here, but wanted to express how lonely it can feel to move somewhere new,” Price says. “And a lot of my favorite melody-writers had made a home here as well, so I spent a lot of time revisiting the work of Brian Wilson, Jeff Lynne, Lindsey Buckingham, Rivers Cuomo, Tom Petty and Jason Martin. I was also listening to a lot of old folk, gospel and country, and I hope you can hear how that mix comes through in this record. Even lyrically, it felt like I had one foot in the confessional and one foot in the impressionistic.”
After introducing the album earlier this year with “Play On” and “Innocent Song,” Price has released two more singles, including “Walking Under the Trees,” a dreamy folk tune that finds outsized metaphors in taken-for-granted things. “I wrote it very quickly and it seems to be more from my subconscious than normal,” he says. “It encapsulates the strange energy and isolation of admiring the newness of the West Coast scenery and the isolation of living in a new place, that I wanted the whole record to have. Being isolated in Santa Monica, I took a lot of walks. This song is about taking comfort in solitude. Friends come in and out of life. ‘Gravity and decay.’ What goes up, must come down. Relationships decay without nourishment. It’s not hard to look around and see the effects of decay, inertia. Appreciating the love and support that I still had to be grateful for. With a lot of these songs, I wanted to capture how beautiful the geography and plant and tree life is out west.”
HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MANAGE THE ‘STAY AT HOME’ EDICT?
I’m doing OK. I’ve been taking edibles, going on walks and watching Jamie Oliver cooking videos.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN THIS IS OVER?
Going to Gold-Diggers and having a beer with friends.
ANYTHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PLAYLIST?
These are songs that capture my mood swings beautifully. Whether it’s pure joy, or pure sadness — I’m guessing most of us are walking a delicate line of keeping our mental health in check. There is something very expressive melodically in all of these selections.