Wed, Oct 9

Robert DeLong

Atlas Genius
Show: 8:00 pm Doors: 7:00 pm
Black Sheep
$20.00 - $70.00
All Ages
Additional Info
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Artists
Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong is all grown up. Or, at least, he’s ready to leap into the next phase of his life and artistic career. Originally from Seattle but now based in Los Angeles, the songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist has always reflected himself in his music, but on Playlist of Doom, his fourth full-length album, Robert embraces a sense of raw honesty that seeps through the cleverly-crafted lyrics. “My first few records were more existential,” he says. “In your twenties you think you know everything about the universe and you want to tell everyone everything you know. But as you get older you learn more about yourself and relationships, so it made more sense for me to write about that.”

The songs on Playlist of Doom began to come together shortly after Robert released Walk Like Me, his third album, in the fall of 2021. That album, a response to the break-up of a long-term relationship, was clouded by the pandemic and didn’t have the impact Robert was hoping for. He slowly began writing new music, working late into the night in his home studio, and autobiographical themes started to emerge, even if all of the songs themselves aren’t autobiographical. He wrote across genres, incorporating everything from indie pop to electronica to reggaeton, and sees the album as an instinctual distillation of his songwriting. It was an experimental, energized and completely organic process. 

“Music, for me, is always emergent,” Robert says. “I start by chasing a melody and then the lyrics pop out. Whatever I’ve been thinking about, whatever I’ve been going through, whatever emotions I’m feeling about my relationships with people or whatever I’m worrying about in my life just inject themselves. Everything spills out. The songs that feel the most like me, as on this album, are more extemporaneous on some level.”

Single “Deserve It All,” which features guest vocals from Pahua, draws inspiration from Latin American cumbia (a folkloric genre and dance from Colombia) as Robert takes stock of his life and career to date, setting the tone for the rest of the album. “I started feeling like I wanted to get more out of my career,” he explains. “I needed to look forward into the future and take control of things myself. I had to stop waiting. The lyrics center on the realization that I deserve more than I was getting. That was the first song I’d written in a while that felt unique and fun, but also like I was saying something real about my life.”

Throughout the tracklist, fans can hear subtle hints of Robert’s varied influences, resulting in an album that’s as eclectic as he is. They range from his obsession with dub, the dusty drums of breakbeat and jungle, the songwriting of ‘90s alternative music and early ‘00s Seattle indie, as well as classic songwriters like Tom Petty, David Byrne and Depeche Mode. He also nods to more modern artists like Gloomer, Post Malone, Pugilist and Om Unit. 

Uplifting indie pop number “Makeshift Paradise” marks Robert’s first “love song without caveats,” encouraged by his current relationship. “Slowly” is more imagined, reflecting on the internal longing you feel at the end of a partnership even if you’re completely over it. “2 of Us,” one of the oldest songs on the album, was co-written with Joaquin Pastor, while buzzy electronic song “Headrush,” written with Natalia Aristides and April Bender, grapples with the reality of feeling uninspired and being unable to get out of bed. 

“Those kinds of songs would have been more difficult for me to write at an earlier phase in my life because I would have been more self-conscious about them,” Robert says. “Now in the conversations I have with other adults and with younger people, it’s clear we all feel these things. And it helps to be honest about it.”

Playlist of Doom, Robert’s first release on his new record label Round Hill Records, showcases the varied thematic and sonic influences that go into the Robert’s music, which he dubs eclectic alternative electronic pop. Its lyrics nudge towards relatable experiences and feelings, encapsuling the highs and lows of the human conditions through the lens of compelling songwriting. It’s an evolution from his earlier work, but also a full circle moment as songs and sounds nod to his 2013 debut, Just Movement, which featured breakout single “Global Concepts,” which went platinum in Australia.

In the years since, Robert has dropped two more albums and two EPs, along with several notable singles, including 2018’s “Favorite Color Is Blue,” which featured K. Flay, and 2021’s “Did It To Myself,” featuring Lights. Ashe also appeared on two songs on Walk Like Me. His 2015 single “Long Way Down” peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Alternative chart and became his biggest streaming track on Spotify. The musician boasts more 170 million streams on Spotify and 30 million views on YouTube. Over the years, he has performed at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Reading and Leeds, captivating fans with his dynamic, frenzied live performances. Now, Robert is ready to step into something new. 

“I started doing this in my twenties and I was very young and at the beginning of my life,” he says. “I feel evolved from the person I was. I feel good about making music and being part of a record label that reflects where I am and who I am today. It all just feels right. The music industry can be such a roller coaster, so it’s nice to feel like everything is aligned and that I’m getting to do what I’m meant to do.” 

Atlas Genius
In 2011, Atlas Genius saw immediate success with the breakthrough of their debut hit single “Trojans.” Over the last ten years, the Australian-bred band of brothers has proven that their knack for creating catchy-yet-meaningful alt-pop was no fluke. Atlas Genius has amassed nearly 300 million streams to date, played on sold-out arena tour line-ups (with the likes of Imagine DragonsWeezer, and Panic! At The Disco), and have been invited to perform on national shows such as The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Now, the group is back with a new project that shows how artists can reach their highest heights just by going home. Atlas’ newest single, “Elegant Strangers,” initially started as a collaboration between singer Keith Jeffery, acclaimed producer Ben H. Allen (Animal CollectiveBombay Bicycle Club) and The Bravery singer/songwriter Sam Endicott (The Bravery, Shakira). After many attempts in Los Angeles, the band flew to Australia in early 2020 to record in their studio. Built by hand by the three Jeffery brothers and their father, the studio gave birth to Atlas Genius and their 2012 debut album 'When It Was Now' and the gold single “Trojans.” From the whirlwind that ensued, their home studio lay dormant for almost eight years. Atlas Genius went back to their roots to capture the energy of the remote area where they grew up in South Australia.
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