Bliss Nova is synesthetic synth-pop: lush, pop-driven synthonies swimming in technicolor funk grooves, stirring hooks of psychedelic electronica and dreamy waves of chilled vapor.
Brothers Daniel and Joel Trzcinski started the project in late 2014 as a way to put some lofi bedroom pop demos to good use — what ultimately became their 2015 EP, Do You Feel. The debut drew comparisons to the likes of Washed Out, Neon Indian and Toro y Moi, and the band was lauded as “one of the top promising artists from the Midwest scene.”
From 2016 on, the band developed their multi-aesthetic live show, “a tapestry of ethereal electronic soundscapes set against an explosive and booming rhythm,” and embarked on short-run regional tours, while finding time to explore slicker, dynamic dance-pop with the release of the EP Light & Shadow and the double A-side “Say It” / “Now” in 2017.
After two years of writing and recording, their 2019 full-length album, Going Places, culminates in smoggy, nostalgia-tinged euphoria awash with vintage sparkle, channeling a dreamy internal monologue entwined with the spirit of French philosophy. Longtime collaborator Brennan Willis of Ohio Recording Company co-produced and mixed the record, while mastering legend Dave Cooley (J Dilla, M83, Blood Orange) gave it a sonic polish. Erika Spring (Au Revoir Simone) makes a guest appearance, lending vocals to “Blind.”
With the new-age aesthetic of Brian Eno and Gondry-esque surrealism, the album’s ethereal splendor marks the freshest findings of Bliss Nova’s sonic evolution. Late ‘70s grooves grind against hints of early ‘80s electro funk and cosmic jazz, while timbres and textures of ‘80s ambient soundscapes and ‘90s electronica merge with ‘00s neo-soul and r&b. A supernova of samples, field recordings, lush percussion and catchy pentatonic tropes shimmer on the surface, with murkier depths and humor underneath. The Trzcinski brothers’ Bliss Nova philosophy truly is Going Places and moving a swelling congregation of their own followers in the process.
“On February 28, 2016, we started a demo called "Going Places.” Bliss Nova had put out our debut EP the year prior, made up of the first 6 songs we’d written for the band — which itself had started as a survival attempt in the wake of our previous band’s abrupt dissolution. On the other side of that release and off to a slow start of a new year, we were asking ourselves “Now what?”
Daniel recorded the demo in a bootleg version of Logic Pro and used his roommate’s Walmart-brand electric and bass guitars. The song itself was plodding and moody and about not going places (that’s what it’s like to be in the Midwest in the winter, after all). We thought it had something worth developing but ultimately it went back on the shelf (that’s oftentimes what it’s like to be a musician, after all).