Local Current Blog

Grant Cutler teams up with Holly Newsom for new avant pop project, Weird Visions

Holly Hansen of Zoo Animal and Grant Cutler. (Publicity photo)


Some say the internet killed the full-length album. But a trend I’ve been particularly fond of is the resurgence of the two-track digital 7″, a way of releasing music that hearkens back to the days when rock and pop acts would release singles on 45s —or, if you want to trace it all the way back, when music was first issued on wax cylinders back in the 1880s. These short, sweet introductions to artists can sometimes pack more of a punch than a full LP.

Rather than releasing a single as a way to tease a full record, more bands are embracing the idea of releasing less music at a time more often. Just this morning, Strange Names followed up their latest four-song EP with a new two-song 7″, and artists like Ian Anderson have employed this two-songs-at-a-time method as well. And now, spurned on by his experience collaborating with Anderson on the Dream Brother project, Grant Cutler has revealed that he, too, plans to release his music in small—and hopefully frequent—bursts.

Behold: The first two tracks from Cutler’s newest project, Weird Visions.

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These first songs feature Cutler handling production and Holly Newsom of Zoo Animal on vocals. The two collaborated previously on the 2012 Zoo Animal EP, Departure, but this is quite a change of pace from that slow and sparse affair. For Weird Visions, Newsom takes an R&B approach, and her vocals are heavily manipulated by Cutler to create a dance floor-remix-ready, sultry, swirling style of electronic pop music. Weird Visions’ most comparable local peer would likely be Poliça.

“It’s hipster, beat-driven sh*t,” Cutler says, laughing and humbly downplaying the dramatic vibe of his new music. “It’s an experiment. A production experiment. And it’s a way to work with different people and do my production thing.”

Most recently, Cutler has worked with Aby Wolf to produce and mix her latest album, Wolf Lords, and the pair worked so closely that they almost decided to release it jointly rather than under Wolf’s name. Cutler says that project has opened a lot of doors for him, and he’s hoping to use the new Weird Visions name to produce a series of tracks with different local artists.

“I’m trying to be casual about everything,” he says. “I love performing still, but I think where my talents lie is working in a team and being the guy that takes a song and fixes it up. I’d like to just do that for a lot of people.”

For now, he’s celebrating the release of this debut, Weird Visions 1, which is available as a free download today on Bandcamp. “It’s some of the more complicated sounding music that I’ve done,” he notes—and if he keeps issuing collaborations this strong, he should have no problem finding more vocalists to experiment with these fresh sounds.