Melissa Fenno/Courtesy of Artist
Note: This week, Second Stage is featuring artists from the RPM Challenge, 'The Wire' magazine's annual open invitation for musicians to produce an entire album in the shortest month of the year, February. Check out the website to learn about this year's challenge.
With Lennon, McCartney, and Brian Wilson cited among Peter Fedofsky's primary musical influences, it's no surprise that his second RPM Challenge album, Notes from the Shuttle shimmers with pleasant harmonies, buoyant melodies, and well-placed hand claps. "I write pop as if it were still 1965," admits Fedofsky.
Though Fedofsky's music sounds like easy, breezy retro-pop, he sometimes incorporates strange, otherworldly lyrics into his songs instead of singing only about more conventional topics like love and heartache. Notes from the Shuttle, for instance, is named not for a common urban mode of transportation but for its more extreme NASA counterpart. The album's self-titled track details the explosion of the earth, the loss of "everything we know," and hopelessly drifting in space. Fedofsky describes this year's RPM album as a collection of B-sides that deal with a "poppy exploration of some goofy sci-fi stuff dealing with the end of the world." He envisions that the A-side will come later.
Impressed by how "welcoming and helpful" the RPM musicians are, Fedofsky decided to participate in the Challenge for the second year in a row. His previous album, The Curious Flying Machine was featured on Second Stage last year. When he's not playing solo, Fedofsky also plays the keys in the five-piece indie-pop group, Curtains for You.
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