I recently had a chance to sit down with Nolan Gordin, a young musician who operates under the pseudonym, The Polaroid Bear, to talk about his new album and eclectic mix of technology and traditional sounds.
On his self-released second album, This Is All A Ghost, the opening track challenges the listener to take a journey through a modern experiment. It’s been two years since The Polaroid Bear put out his first album, Young River, that he describes as his experimental phase where he was just exploring his software. “It was a very, ‘o what does this button do’ type of thing…” he explains. Both his first and second albums are a mixture of acoustics, tech, and melodic lyrics, but the latter certainly conjures an arrangement of these elements that surpasses the first. The new album is definitely one of self-identity with all the writing, recording, performing, mixing, and production done by Nolan.
As a college student who initially studied music he later changed his majoring because he felt it defeated the purpose of why he wanted to make music in the first place. “I didn’t like the competition of it all…I didn’t want to be the best musician, but the best at what I do.” he explained. When I asked why his music is mostly instrumental he said that, “when things are less lyrical it becomes a non-verbal understanding.”
To Nolan music is how people can relate to one another and when that communication is understood it can be an intense moment. On being a solo artist he said that “a great solo artist will never be better than a great band”, however he is content with doing things himself until he finds the right musicians to start a project with. I told him that when I listen to his music it sounds like a soundtrack to an awesome film and he shared with me that film scoring is eventually what he wants to do.
The Polaroid Bear’s music is a fresh take on the DIY (do-it-yourself) generation of young instrumental musicians that is worth listening to. His music is technical, yet soulful in all the right ways that create it’s own unique melodic atmosphere.
Written by Ayo Kepher-Maat