Daniel Trudeau is a widely published unknown artist under the moniker Pregnant. He has a catalog of original music releases, a nice collection of videos, but nobody has signed him exclusively. Start-up indie labels and online magazines look for him for a cool product because they recognize certain appeals. Pregnant is a west coast electronic, lo-fi, experimental, singer-songwriter with a twang of hip-hop. So it goes with my little magazine, Horizon Times. Pregnant is my first Artist Profile with accompanying full length live EP in a new series highlighting innovators in new music and arts.
Daniel composes songs on-demand, he makes cardboard monsters, he dreams up characters and environments, expresses himself beyond analysis, and he is raising his awesome daughter while working at tourist stop hipster dive, the Cosmic Café—a place nestled in the ancient mining town of Placerville, CA. The vibe coming through his music is the forest and mountains, the altitude, solar energy, and pop songs passed through Ableton Live in an old Macbook.
His following is strong and serious, but modest in stature. He is personable while not giving a fuck. He has this idiosyncratic charisma, a penchant for human contemplation, and a special ear for unique harmonics. Personally, I believe he will grow in to a cross-disciplinary presenter of ideas, as I see him find space as an outsider in fine arts while doing something from his own voice in music. He will accomplish a great deal purely out of natural creativity and risk-taking.
Over the years, Trudeau and his ever-changing band has been venturing from NYC to Nashville and routinely crosses the west coast. Sometimes he makes it in Japan, Korea, and plans to go to UK in December. Mush Records, Tiger Friends, KDVS Recordings, Terror Eyes TV, Dublab, and others have published Daniel’s music. His latest release, titled “Inconvenience” is now available from Porch Party.
The new record is original work, largely built from the experience of making Your Songs. For his current tour, it’s mostly new music that is soon to be released, not featured on “Inconvenience” and he notes that most of those songs will not be played live, ever. Daniel Ramirez and Molly Raney provide back up and this video illustrates the groovy dynamic they found together.
As of this writing, Pregnant has released 66 unique pieces for Your Songs. He writes tunes for individuals who purchase them for $7.00 (or more). The progression has been remarkable since the first Your Song. They sound almost nothing like his previously published work and the newest tracks sound more enhanced, substantially more developed than his earliest in the series.
I got to observe him one day as I was passing through Placerville, recording this podcast with him and Molly Raney, also known as Poppet. Poppet, by the way, is a force to reckon with and I would imagine a strong ally to him in a band. Here is a featured article about Molly in this week’s Portland Mercury.
Daniel was working on a song for Dublab’s Proton Drive during my visit; I put down some garage-tuned piano tracks in a haze of lost sleep from the road. I watched as he created a complete structure from chopped up Rolling Stones. He told me that he “doesn’t even know how to play an instrument anymore” because the work is basically cut ups in Ableton Live, mostly from famous music albeit classical works or rock and roll. When writing a tune for someone, he only goes by what is accessible about them. Many buyers are friends or close to his network, but he said that, “for people I don’t know, I make up a scenario and place the person in that scenario.” Here is the latest from Your Songs.
Beyond music for the artist is an interactive performance in which he uses art gallery floor and wall space to recreate Facebook. He put the call out for snail mailed status updates that will be transcribed or pasted on to long paper scrolls. Viewers of the exhibition can leave comments and like things by handwriting on to the scroll.
Daniel is also working on Lyre Bird, a sample-based piece of music built similarly to Your Songs, but accompanied with different tracks with other musicians around the world recreating his electronic works organically, through their own creative process, using live instruments. A digital album will accompany the work. He hopes a band will form to perform the tunes live.
And something most complex and collaborative is in the works called John Raw. It is going to come out on vinyl from Mush Records later this year but the process is on its own timeline. John Raw only exists in the Internet. He wants to kill himself in the digital world so he can come to life in the real world. The only way he comes to life in the real world is by people taking on his likeness, manifesting his essence. Documentary style promotion will accompany the whole thing involving international collaborators.
On June 20th, 2014, Pregnant performed with Poppet at Alhambra Theater in Portland Oregon with PWRHAUS and Goodnight Billygoat. By the way, both of the opening bands are true headliners. Goodnight Billygoat provides a live score to original home-made animations that have become an epic series, each one greater than the last. PWRHAUS offer a new-soul band for the heart broken. This show is almost too powerful. You can hear and download the Pregnant performance in its entirety here.