Staff Writer for The Horn RVA
While attending Northern Virginia Community College two years ago, Chris Tait was reflecting on his future through music. Now, the Alexandria native is set to release his second EP, “World at Night,” on August 27 through his Bandcamp page.
“Last year I had this epiphany where I thought, ‘I’m 21 years old; I need to start doing something,’” said Tait, a rising senior at VCU. “I had these songs that I had written while I was still living in Alexandria but I didn’t really feel like I had an outlet to release them like I do now (that I’m living in Richmond).”
The indie-folk artist transferred to VCU in fall 2011 to study English. He split time recording in his bedroom and at the sound booth in the Pollack Building on campus. His first record, “Inland Ocean EP,” was released in March 2012. He has recorded and performed under the pseudonym “Inland Ocean” since moving to Richmond.
“A friend told me that Brian Wilson called reverberation an inland ocean, and I just liked the way that sounded,” Tait said. “I like the idea that the title of something will be sort of a verbal representation for what you’re about to hear.”
Tait, who often records in his bedroom, described the self-production process as easy but admitted that his method of recording is not without its challenges.
“One definite benefit of self-production is, because I’m doing everything myself, I pretty much know how I want the arrangement to be; I guess sort of like how a director would know every shot they would want in their film,” he said.
“I guess one downside is that I’m doing a lot of things out of necessity, like, for instance, I’m using a lot of digital equipment just because that’s what I have on hand. I’d like to play a real electric piano, or whatever, but I don’t have that; all I have is the plug-in software. Even my drums are sampled.”
For Tait, building on his material and evolving as a musician is a constant goal. He wants to develop Inland Ocean into a full band, but said that he isn’t rushing into things.
“Because it’s just me I can’t play all of the instruments at one time, which is why I would eventually like to find regular musicians to play with,” Tait said. “I just like to have some kind of progression with everything I do so it doesn’t become stale.”