Human Ottoman: 'Denim Enigma' [Video Premiere]

Vortex Music Magazine

Add a little absurdity to your day right now, and then do it again on October 18 when the band bring their polyrhythmic, vibraphone- and cello-filled jazz-rock to the Goodfoot.

As the name Human Ottoman might reveal, a touch of absurdity is inherent in this local band’s design. And while watching their new video for “Denim Enigma,” you’ll receive a healthy dose of retro strangeness, like something you might catch late at night on a public access channel but you just can’t quite look away. The music itself will likely get you to hit repeat.

“We strive to be a really fun band to listen to but we are also really serious when it comes to making good music,” says vibraphonist and lead vocalist Grayson Fiske, one-third of the trio that makes up Human Ottoman. The band also features Susan Lucia on drums and Julian Kosanovic on cello. Together, they are a self-described collection of “music school misfits” who combined their forces a few years ago to pursue a direction all their own.

Fiske explains that the creative process usually begins as a collaboration between himself and Lucia, both of whom come from percussionist backgrounds, which leads to music he fondly refers to as rhythm-obsessed. “Denim Enigma” is a track from their 2015 album Farang, and the video was recently filmed in and around the Belmont area, crafted with the help of local company Rollstars Productions.

“The songwriting process took an interesting path,” Fiske says. “I wrote the lyrics for 'Denim Enigma' while sitting on top of a Spanish villa in Granada. The words have an absurdist element to them that get to hide behind an otherwise 'normal' rock song.”

Human Ottoman is currently in the process of writing more music for an upcoming album, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can catch them live in Portland on Wednesday, October 18 at the Goodfoot.

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