The Quitugs


Bill Doss, co-founder of Elephant 6 band the Olivia Tremor Control, dead at 43

photo courtesy of @griffinshot- Tim Griffin

RIP Bill Doss

I’ve long associated the warm and heavy textures of an Olivia Tremor Control record with summer break. Those airy, sun-tinged harmonies fit well into the backdrop of my bicycle rides to the beach at Hickam AFB, HI. My first summer there involved a healthy diet of Black Foliage and the California Demise EP.┬áIt seemed like half those records had a part one or two or three for their songs. I didn’t mind.I was enamored by the pianos of “California Demise pt. 3” and the sudden trips into odd sound collages. Guitars and trumpets were spun backwards and sped up to a nearly unrecognizable, overdubbed haze so loud it sounded like the four track used for recording would give. These fits of noise by the main figures behind the band, Doss and Will Cullen Hart, could have been a hindrance to the music but they weren’t. More often than not they’d come back to some wonderful harmonic conclusion. Or follow it up with a very catchy and trippy tune. What was even more striking to me was how curiously perfect the voices of Doss, Hart, Jeff Mangum and the rest fit together. In unison the effect is both haunting and embracing. That’s how I’ll hear Doss now: haunting and embracing.


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