COLD WEATHER BOY
“I sang in a million choirs, studied opera forever, and took a lot of music theory in college, but guitar is entirely self-taught,” says Elias Spector-Zabusky (or his alter ego Cold Weather Boy). “I’ve never taken a lesson in it, I’ve never played my scales, I don’t know my positions, so I don’t see guitar in terms of theory. I didn’t write thinking about it. I like harmonies that I experience as angular, that don’t necessarily move quite as you expect them, but one of the things I work on is not complicating things just for the purpose of complicating them. Sometimes things have to stay comfortable and easy.”
A city transplant from the frigid upstate New York, Elias recently finished undergrad and slowly got burned out on pursuing a career in theater. “For the longest time I really thought I was a theater person who did music,” ESZ admits. “But I was frustrated with theater, and when I was working this office job I only had a flexible-ish schedule, and so I wasn’t really going on auditions—for a variety of reasons—but I was able to somedays go home and play guitar for a couple of hours and try to write something.”
In Brooklyn, Elias dove head first back into music discovery, both at shows and on his laptop late at night, listening to a mixture of the current Brooklyn scene music and older groups. Exploding in Sound was a big point for him (e.g. Palm, Pile, Stove, Krill, and other monosyllabic bands), alongside the psychedelic production of Elephant 6 Collective and the experimentalism of Northern Spy. ESZ says, “I like stuff that’s fuzzy but also soft at points, occasionally dissonant and noisy while also harmonically interesting—slightly off-kilter but accessible.”
This EP comprises five original tracks developed from these original demos. All the songs feature fellow NY-natives Miles Arntzen on drums and Doug Berns on bass, who Elias met the same day that they tracked the EP. Entirely Brooklyn-based, the EP was produced and engineered by Lily Wen at her storefront studio, the Chamber of Commerce, in Ditmas Park and mixed by Eli Crews at Figure 8 in Prospect Heights.
The lyrics in each song is like a snapshot in his life, which comes from his background as a classical vocalist: “song cycles sometimes aren’t straight up, step-by-step narratives, but rather vignettes that tell the story of a larger experience,” says Spector-Zabusky. “I think the songs I write are largely trying to do that.”