Photo Ops Shares Breezy New Tune via Buzzbands.la, Plus New West Coast Tour Dates
Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Terry Price, who creates achingly beautiful folk-tinged dream pop under the moniker Photo Ops, has unleashed his latest single, "Palm Trees," via Buzzbands.la. Influenced by the maritime beauty of his adopted home town, "Palm Trees" is a song of juxtaposition. "The beach is Southern California's greatest feint - a place of spectacular natural beauty, as populated by those who would consume it like a trinket purchased at a curio shop," says Buzzband.la's Kevin Bronson of the track. "It's an apt metaphor for singer-songwriter Terry Price's music as Photo Ops, ethereal folk-pop as welcoming as a sea breeze but seemingly carrying the weight of world. In a way, his songs are glossy postcards with gentle rebukes scribbled on back."
[STREAM "PALM TREES" via SOUNDCLOUD]
"Palm Trees" follows single "July" released in February, his first new music since his 2016 sophomore album Vacation. "One nice thing about L.A. is that when you go to the beach, you are forced to reckon with profound wealth on display," Price says of "Palm Trees." "This song is about trying to disentangle natural beauty from conspicuous consumption. And missing your friends."
Price's voice is unmistakable - resonant and clear with an edge of suffering. The songs are compact and upbeat, richly textured, and full of lyrical insights about beauty, pain, and the connections between people. Photo Ops began as a way for Price to find meaning in an onslaught of traumatic life events. A sudden medical condition, the death of his father, and the breakup of his long-time band, Oblio, inspired Photo Ops' 2013 debut, How to Say Goodbye. The follow-up, Vacation (2016, Bad Friend Records), solidified Photo Ops' reputation for combining ethereal soundscape with raw emotionality. Price paired up with producer Patrick Damphier (Jessica Lea Mayfield, Mynabirds, Fences, Aaron Lee Tasjan, The Arcs) again to record an album that earned critical praise and attracted millions of plays on Spotify. Several songs were licensed for film and TV, including in the trailer of "People, Places, Things" with Jemaine Clement, and episodes of ABC's Blood & Oil and CW's Valor. Later that year he signed a publishing deal with Secretly Canadian.
Like many people, Price found himself shaken by the events of November 2016. He ceased touring on Vacation, went dark on social media, and left Nashville, where he'd lived for 15 years, for Los Angeles. "I needed to shed my skin," he says. The change of scenery answers what became a sudden need for Price: "I needed to look outside myself for inspiration. It's a matter of survival to know that there is beauty in the world. So that's my mission now: to show that there is still beauty in the world. I honestly don't know how else to write right now," Price says.
In February 2019, new songs began to emerge that are among the best of his career. They do what great Photo Ops music does - taking deeply personal experiences and finding their meaning through music. There is an immediacy to the production, stemming in part from Price's time spent studying Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. As he made his way through the southwest during his move, Price listened to Dylan's Sirius XM show on repeat. "They were mostly old songs. What struck me was the spirit that was behind them. They're just people in a room with a microphone, so they would have to self-correct and really conjure a spirit in the moment. Something about that felt so vital to me. It sounds like a time and place," Price adds. The new material features an intentionally limited set of instruments: one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar, a Ludwig drum kit from the 60s, a stand-up piano, a Hofner bass, and a small Casiotone keyboard. Price is working remotely with Damphier, who is in Nashville, as producer. Songs are recorded as soon as they're written. A third Photo Ops album, Pure at Heart, is fully recorded and is expected to be released this year.