Photography by Andy Alvarez ©
Postrich Bear as a sound really excites me. Andy Alvarez is an incredible musician and songwriter. His music reflects as a brush line of sadness in a pool of memories good and bad. And boy does he have an ear for a tune. When you put the combination together it can only make for a great record.
In My Thoughts You Still Smile A Lot is a great record. It's a prolific record with 16 well represented tracks. It's a clever record with provoking melodies and lyricism. It's a thoughtful record with a clear motif of love and loss. To think that this album is a solo project is eye-opening, Alvarez executes it with the precision of a solo artist yet with all of the skill and breadth of a well-oiled group of musicians. How can you have an ear for so many parts? You could say it shows the promise of an up and coming Kevin Parker, Mike Oldfield or Phil Collins.
"The name In My Thoughts You Still Smile A lot comes from me always thinking back on the fond memories I had with certain people even if we no longer talk"
There is a gentle reluctance in Alvarez which comes across in his music though, and it's not just about the lyrics. It's about the detail. It's about what the TV recordings on Brief Encounter mean? What do the foot stomps on C.R.L.I.S.I.M tell us? What drink was the spoon stirring on April 24th 2017? Maybe it's nothing, nevertheless it inspires you to want to make music, get the 8 track out again and put out an anonymous record on Bandcamp to tell the world a story.
News of the upcoming record Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story therefore only intrigues more. Can Alvarez harness his style and release a soundtrack that can rival the emotion of a record 5 years in the making? The strength of In My Thoughts You Still Smile A Lot is not found within how "complete' the record is, but how the picture seem to resonate a little while longer. Listen and read the Andy Alvarez interview below...
Postrich Bear, you're one of the most difficult artists to discover online. Are you a band, project, artist? Well first I went by the name Oso for a long time, but people would come to my shows thinking I was one of the groups “oso oso” or “ososo,” two other bands with similar names. Tired of the confusion, I recently changed my name to Postrich Bear. I would feel bad when people who drove miles to see one of those bands would just find me at a house show.
To better answer your question, Postrich Bear was a solo project I started in order to record and release music I had written over the years that didn’t fit into the bands I was in. It has slowly become something I really enjoy as far as music projects go because I can go at whatever pace I want with recording and writing songs.
Then how would you describe your music to date? // To describe my music to date, I think I would just call it somewhere between Lo-Fi and singer songwriter. Some people in the community of musicians I’m a part of have coined it “basement,” but I think that’s just because I do a lot of recording and shows in basements.
In My Thoughts You Still Smile A Lot, the record is about somebody. // The songs on the album were written over the span of 5 to 6 years, so they are not about one single person but instead friends, family, and lovers of the past and present. The name In My Thoughts You Still Smile A Lot comes from me always thinking back on the fond memories I had with certain people even if we no longer talk. I just try to remember the best in people I guess.
I decided to just bring a bunch of instruments with me when I recorded to create the full band atmosphere.
There are so many incredible songs on the record, having reflected on it which stand out the most for you? For us it's Batty, Hey Bird, Can Not Believe and Football Bros. // For me it’s hard to say because I put so much work into all of them and find it hard to pick some over others, but the ones that seem to resonate the most with others are C.R.L.I.S.I.M, Relief and Football Bros. I will say I Never Liked Pumpkin Pie took the longest to record though, because my fingers were freezing when trying to record it.
The magic in your music is the effortless switch between one man and guitar, to this incredible unifying and honest Lo-Fi band. How do you do it? // Well on the recordings I record everything by myself except for the trumpet parts, which were done by my cousin Matthew. When writing the songs, I would picture some of them being presented in a way that involved just guitar and my voice, so I decided to just bring a bunch of instruments with me when I recorded to create the full band atmosphere. Playing live I usually play really stripped down sets with myself and maybe one or two others. Recently though I’ve been transitioning to playing with a full band. Makes me feel less lonely.
I’m really excited to share it with the world for the reason I feel it’s a more "complete" album than its two predecessors.
Who is the one person you would like to tour with next year, then? // I would really love to go on tour with just my other friends’ bands that make music in the Oregon music scene that I’m a part of. Nothing would be better than touring with those who you admire for their music, personalities, and as just overall character. I don’t think I’ll go on tour though just cause I’m not sure if I have enough people who would come out to shows besides those who live in Oregon. The other honest answer is I just don’t think I could finance a tour.
April 24th 2017 is a stand-alone song you've also released, is that going to be part of something bigger? Yes! I’m currently working on my third release right now titled Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story. I plan on releasing it sometime this winter and doing a small run of cassette tapes like I have for my last two releases. Unlike my last two albums, I plan on playing more shows to support its release as well as actually trying to promote it instead of just putting it online without telling anyone. April 24th 2017 will also make an appearance on the next album as well. I’m really excited to share it with the world for the reason I feel it’s a more “complete” album than its two predecessors.
And finally, we've not asked this in a while, especially to a Postrich Bear, tell us your desert island drink?
Just a classic Margarita, unless I knew I had a zero chance of survival, in which case I would prefer a Black Opal. The reason for that it is if i knew I would die there i’d prefer to at least be at least a bit tipsy, it might make the whole situation a bit of laugh in a really twisted sad way.