What were you doing at 18? Chances are you weren’t producing super-slick electro-psych tunes like young thing Uncle Bobby aka Robert Downie. This whizz kid has been pretty prolific over the past two years, with a truckload of tracks on his Soundcloud to prove it.
18 year old Robert Downie is everybody’s cool uncle, Uncle Bobby. Managing a sweet blend of lo-fi psych and electronica the Bobster is well on his way to becoming one of the cool kids.
While earlier tunes skated between ambient, redolent, almost pretty electro-songs like The Captain’s Forest Bed to lo-fi psych on Fly Against My Wall, latest track My Mind is Already Gone is an intriguing hybrid of the two. On his Unearthed page, Bobby lists Pond and Radiohead as two of the bands he sounds like, and really seems to achieve this fusion of electronic music and psych that could have gone so terribly wrong.
One might guess by the title that My Mind is Already Gone is about mental illness or general disdain for the modern world. One would be wrong. “It’s about a great big brain fart,” says Bobby. “I’m a big fan of illusions and mind trickery, so I guess this song is a bit of an homage to that.“
It’s not hard to see why he describes it as such, as the song weaves in and out of jarring glitchy electronic noises, dreamy lyrics and effects that sound almost like fingernails tapping across a keyboard, among other things. “When I play it live with my brand spanking new band, the last section is kind of improvised too, and I think that adds an extra layer of brain bendiness,” he says.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203372498″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The song begins with a landscape of traditional psych sounds like sitars and keyboards, that wouldn’t be unfamiliar to anyone who has heard even the most mainstream of psych music. It’s not until the song really gets going that it seems to embrace its weirdness, switching from blurred vocals, to a more expected dreamy approach.
It’s a lush and spacious recording, with plenty to keep the ear and mind interested. Unlike many other psych-rock or electronic tracks released of late, this truly takes the listener into another dimension. It’s just the right concoction of approachable pop with an underlying eccentricity, the kind of eccentricity that could only come from someone who’s young and has yet faced the realities of the adult world.
The tune is accompanied by an equally odd video clip; think guy wearing oversized red suit, doing weird shit, on an old-school TV set. It complements the otherworldliness of My Mind is Already Gone in a way that most music videos don’t manage to achieve. “I thought it fit with the vibe of the lyrics and spaciness of the song. As for the TV, I wanted a bit of a lo-fi vibe because it’s what all the cool kids are doing these days,” says Bobby, who doesn’t seem to realise that he’s well on his way to becoming one of the cool kids.
Expect an EP later this year from this wunderkind, as well as new merch with the help of artist Meng Tsung Lee.