One of the most impressive things about Robert DeLong has to be the way he makes electronic music that still sounds human. It can be easy for emotion to get lost among synths and circuit boards, but DeLong approaches the genre as a singer-songwriter – one who also happens to be pretty good with a laptop.
While it isn’t often that you find a rising EDM star who was influenced by indie rockers like Modest Mouse and Death Cab For Cutie (DeLong’s fellow Pacific Northwesterners), that’s only one of the many things that sets him apart from his peers.
Another way DeLong has broken away from the pack is with his buzzworthy live show. A lot of EDM artists have been criticized (even by their peers) for relying on flashy visuals and pre-recorded backing tracks in their performances, but DeLong creates everything live onstage. Without the help of other musicians, he goes above and beyond what anyone would expect from one man, frantically jumping between live drums, synths, and the occasional video game controller. He doesn’t quite fit in with most of the other artists in his genre – and that’s kind of the point.
His debut album, Just Movement, was written and recorded in the midst of what he calls “an existential open season” where his songwriting started to incorporate more philosophical themes. The process made him rethink the way he was making music:
“I opened myself to the concept of the ‘pop song’ as an effective means of communicating musical and lyrical elements succinctly with the listener.”
He’s taken his need to connect with listeners through music to a new level on his most recent tour, when he records and loops the sound of the audience for use in beats during the performance. Electronic music has never sounded so alive…
Can’t wait to see what Robert DeLong is going to be hauling to LouFest? Take a personal tour of the live rig (including a WiiMote!) from his current tour in support of Just Movement.