Mindchatter delves into sophomore LP ‘DREAM SOUP’ and how empowering learning to break the rules correctly can be
New York City-native singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ, Bryce Connolly, better known as Mindchatter, has had an exceptional few years as one of electronic music’s most essential rising stars. First highlighted in Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 15k: Volume 30 back in the summer of 2020 for his singles “Language” and “Scared to Go Home,” the up-and-comer has now generated a steady, consistent following, connecting with a rapidly expanding audience and putting up the numbers that prove this multi-hyphenate is far from a one-trick pony.
Attending ICON Collective music school in Los Angeles before ultimately debuting his first official track “Trippy,” back in 2019, the Mind of a Genius-championed producer’s singnature sound has evolved into a delectable palette of warbling synth work, sultry vocals, and deeply personal musings in the form of emotive, resonant lyricism. Through his debut album Imaginary Audience, Connolly quickly drew in a loyal fan base, parlaying the album’s reception into a spot on tour with multi-instrumentalist duo Polo & Pan. And despite the fact that the opportunity to tour with the veteran French duo presented itself before Connolly had ever played a live show, he sprang on the chance to hit the road, and really hasn’t looked back since.
It wasn’t long before Mindchatter had more to say. Connolly has followed up and bestowed his fans with yet another 13-track journey, knocking on the depths of his psyche with brand new LP, DREAM SOUP. Mindchatter’s latest offers distinctly modulated sound design alongside a gliding, understated fluidity. Amid his sophomore album’s deliver, Connolly sat down with Dancing Astronaut to dish on his newest venture and what the steep upward trajectory at the intersection of indie and electronic sounds has been like.
From the outside looking in, Mindchatter’s emergence and subsequent come up has felt incredibly streamlined and swift with such overwhelmingly positive receptions to his projects. That, in part, could be due to the guidance and stewardship of the team behind ZHU and Gallant. But in Mindchatter’s world, time moves differently, simply because the final products fans get to hear are actually deeply rooted in planning and prep work. “It actually feels like a slow climb to me because my sound took so many years to form. Even though I’ve only been releasing music for three years, I’ve been obsessing over it for a solid 10,” admits Connolly.
Though, Connolly proved to be nimble on his feet. Like many of the greats before him, studio dexterity didn’t necessarily mean assured DJing skills. So when the chance to take his talents beyond the booth presented itself, like deadmau5 and Porter Robinson before him, Connolly would have to figure out the best format to perform his material, without much previous DJing experience. Though, in the time since Mindchatter’s debut performance in Boston back in the fall of 2019, things have certainly changed for the better as Mindchatter’s meteoric ascent continues to forge onwards. For starters, Connolly is currently manning his own headline tour. Connolly recalls his learning curve period, explaining,
“The truth is, I made the music without having any idea of how to perform it. Once I started getting show offers I scrambled to pull something together and since then it’s come a long way. It keeps evolving as I find more efficient ways to do things. Some of the equipment that I first used I don’t bring with me anymore because I’ve figured out how to get more out of less gear on stage. I used to run MainStage and Ableton at once, which is total madness. It’s exciting for me to think about how it might change in the future.”
It hasn’t been all rosy though—establishing oneself as one of the most formidable burgeoning forces in electronic music didn’t happen nearly overnight without some understandable growing pains. Perhaps the most significant growth occurred during his time as a student at Los Angeles’ famed ICON Collective, where Connolly worked hard to add the singer credential to his lengthy list of skills, and more importantly, learned what it takes to get projects across the finish line. “The most uncomfortable part is becoming a singer at the age of 25. Singing is way more of a head game than any other instrument, if you didn’t grow up singing, it’s hard to convince yourself you can do it as an adult.” Though, with high risk often come high rewards, and Connolly knows it.
“That being said, the whole journey with adding my voice and sharing my thoughts has been the most rewarding part about Mindchatter.”
In recalling his classroom days, Connolly attributes his younger self’s penchant for unfinished works as a lack of discipline. “‘Don’t passively listen to half-finished tracks'” is a nugget of wisdom that has followed me around. Before I got to ICON, I definitely had a problem with getting over the finish line with most of my material. When you produce and record everything yourself, it can be hard to stay disciplined,” conceded Connolly. Though, the New Yorker admitted that the most nerve-racking facet of setting out to LA to join ICON was being brought face to face with the rules. Not because he couldn’t follow them, but because the technical knowledge might hamper a creativity that wasn’t previously reliant on musical theory.
“I was hesitant to go to music school out of fear of losing my creativity to theory, but once you know the rules, you can still break them.”
At its core, DREAM SOUP is a complementary continuation of the work Connolly set out to do one his debut LP. “The message is mainly to be in the moment and get out of your head, which can be hard for me hence my artist name,” explains Connolly. And, armed with refined, improved production methodology and some new equipment to boot, Connolly aimed to imbue this new batch of material with the same heart as his initial offering, while flexing the deeper knowhow of a more seasoned, road-tested producer. “The songs come out faster now than they used to… not necessarily more frequently, just faster. For me it’s all about getting the first line down, if I love the first line then the rest will write itself,” says Mindchatter.
It is a recipe that has proven to work time and time again, most recently to the tune of 13 times across DREAM SOUP‘s duration. The album, which landed in full via Mind of a Genius at the beginning of April, is carrying Mindchatter through an ongoing North American tour, that will see Connolly bring his comprehensive blend of creativity to stages at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Rothbury Michigan’s Electric Forest, and more. In the meantime, sink into another realm and stream DREAM SOUP below.
Featured image: Mindchatter/Instagram