Interview: Bedroom brings honesty to dreampop

Artwork by Sean Bernhardt

Artwork by Sean Bernhardt

There is a casual, yet deep acceptance of whatever comes to Noah Kittinger. That affect oozes from his dreampop/ambient band, Bedroom. Kittinger is an 18-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee with a knack for writing songs that bridge the gap between heartbreak and hope. 

Bedroom's most recent release Grow, was released May 20 under Furious Hooves, an independent record label in Savannah, Georgia. 

The solo-project began his sophomore year in high school, when he released his first EP, Vivid. 

"I was recording all this stuff and...writing a lot of stuff, and there was a lot of stuff going on in my personal life. Stuff that I just needed to write about. And I felt like releasing it would be the only way to put it behind me," Kittinger said. 

With his recent work however, Kittinger wanted to remove the reverb-veil on his voice.

"I knew that the stuff that I did in the past was just drenched with reverb because I was really self-conscious about my voice," Kittinger said. But with newfound confidence in his art, untainted vocals lend to the raw emotion in his new album. 

Grow begins with an ominous ambient sound, and then a very grounded and intimate guitar melody comes in. It's met with a reverbed and impossibly distant guitar that just about tears your heart out. 

"We All Need Something" features a swinging, open melody that forces you to bob along. Jade Lowhon, who contributed vocals on two tracks, adds a lifting second voice and atmospheric vibe. Lowhon and Kittinger became friends on Facebook a few years back, and happened upon a collaboration. 

"In the song 'Drift Away' I wanted a female to sing it with me and I just really liked her voice...She’s very talented," Kittinger said. 

Every lyric and note is so honest. Kittinger's music doesn't bullshit. If he's sad–he's going to tell you and why. And every note will tell you exactly how he felt about it. "Hurry, Get Up" leaves you with an anxious and surly mood. While "Drift Away" takes you to a bedroom (pun intended) as a stream of consciousness  reflects on the anger in the previous song. 

Bedroom is an appropriate title of Kittinger's solo project. There's an isolated feeling within the melody's, but out of that isolation comes a pure and raw product. 

"I feel like each song is a snapshot of whatever was happening at that moment," Kittinger said. "It's just here’s what’s going on with me. Here’s what's in my head right now and this is me writing about it to help myself, and whether or not you enjoy it, that’s on you." 

Kittinger applies that theory to writing his music. He cites an interest in literature and poetry and finding complexity within those subjects, but when it comes to music, he strives to keep it as simple as possible. 

Album-titled song, "Grow" showcases the simplistic honesty within all of Kittinger's work. When I mentioned just how sad it came across, Kittinger laughed. 

"That is a very sad song, yeah. I think I was just super depressed at that time, well not even depressed...I was over everything. I wanted to write a song that was brutally honest." Kittinger said. "I’m not really a fan of writing metaphors. I just want to lay it all down to for people to listen. I wanted to write something that was brutally honest and I think I did that with that song and I’m really proud of that."

Lyrics from Grow: 

"Everything keeps changing for the worst. It's not a first. The only thing that stays the same is I'm lonely. So lonely. I'm sorry. That I can't change. It's not the same. It's not the same. Lets stop time. Before it wins. It's not the end. It's not the end."

Next for Bedroom is a tour in August, releasing a couple singles relatively soon and moving out of Nashville. According to Kittinger, the dreampop scene isn't particularly striving in his home town, while the punk and garage scene is flourishing. 

"It's either super folky, or people who want to be Jack White or a band that wants to be Kings of Leon," Kittinger said. "I'm not saying that good stuff isn't coming out, my buddies have some crazy stuff they're doing, but in terms of the dreampop, it's not really that big." 

There's no question that music is number one for Kittinger. After a small tour immediatly after Grow came out, he's itching to get back on the road in August. 

"I’m just going to see where things go. I know that I don’t want to stay in Nashville. I’m not sure where yet. I’m the kind of person where I worry about everything. I'm always like 'I don't know where I wanna live yet, is this wrong? Am I gunna be a fucking bum?' But everyone’s like chill out man, it’s going to be okay."

Listen to the full album below, or buy a limited edition white vinyl or cassette here