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Davis, California

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Retrospect turns on the ignition

It’s like finding a blank canvas amid a pile of Kitsch paintings or taking an Elliott Smith melancholy tune and embellishing it with drum machines and synthesizers. It’s Retrospect: a new and refreshing band that doesn’t exactly fit into a specific mold or genre.

As one of the three finalists in this year’s Annual Search Party contest, Retrospect’s band members Aaron Cooper, Jared Law, Evan Davis and Tyler Kirby are taking the Davis music scene in a new direction. Blending classic hip-hop beats with indie-throw back pop, folk and acoustic influences, Retrospect is a mixture of it all.

“Evan and I started with just an acoustic guitar influenced by acoustic and folk music – but also rap,” Kirby said. “So it was a mixture of Elliott Smith but also, Notorious B.I.G. We wanted to have fun and fill it out more – so we got these guys [Law and Cooper] to start jamming with us.”

The guys had known each other previously through the dorms and various associations such as KDVS. Although each member offer their own distinct style to the table (Cooper supplying the beats on an Akai MPC drum machine, Law on synthesizers, Kirby on guitar and Davis on vocals), the band has a solid common interest: R. Kelly.

“One of the big unifying factors between us is R. Kelly. We all take inspiration from him,” Cooper said. There’s not much of a hip-hop scene in Davis so we try to blend hip-hop into our music. But we aren’t trying to fit any mold. You just have to appreciate the form.”

Although Tyler and Davis had performed together before at small venues such as Open Mic night on campus, the full band wasn’t officially together until recently this year. Performing together as a band at venues such as at the Search Party listening contest was relatively a new feeling.

“For a while I felt like I was going to collapse,” Cooper said. “It was definitely fun. Our last practice before the show was when it had just come together where we felt the pieces had officially meshed.”

As for the future of Retrospect and where they’re headed? “To the moon,” Law joked.

Maybe, maybe not. But one thing’s for sure, Retrospect has a bright future ahead of them.

“We’re all very into this, we do love it,” Cooper said. “I have some of the most fun when I’m practicing with these guys; we’re all pretty laid back so it’s going to go wherever it takes us. It’s important to put work in but more importantly – put in the love. If people can tell you love to do what you’re doing then more opportunities will open.”

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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