Tide Rider is a Canadian dream pop meets surf project by DeBoe Truss. This multi-instrumentalist hails from British Columbia, and recently started Tide Rider as a way to explore his love for dream pop. He launched his debut single, Minus Touch, last week, and David Dean Burkhart quickly posted it on his YouTube channel (and his Compact Cassette Spotify playlist). I reached out to DeBoe for an interview after stumbling on the song. We talked about recording music, his influences, and other random things.
DeBoe played everything on this single, tracking all of the instruments, and impressive feat alone. He also recorded and mixed the song. After tracking everything, he bounced to his Akai 4000 DS reel to reel, a mid-70s four track tape machine. “I slammed the vocals and drums pretty hard. I bounced the vocal tracks to tapes individually then mixed a vocal bus after,” he shared.
You can hear the beautiful tape saturation on the tight layers of vocals, which are passed through a high pass filter and EQed to give them a narrow range. He doubled the vocals and added selective harmonies before applying the tape compression and saturation. The vocals sit perfectly in the mix, and are balanced well with the bass and kick. His approach to vocals sounds so nice. It was this element that grabbed my attention the first time I heard Minus Touch.
Some of the guitar picking strikes me as early surf, as does the pattern of the drum beat, while the synth, and semi-bright and roomy reverbs give it the modern dream pop sound. It’s the complimentary interplay between his influences that make this song so catchy.
We talked about his recording process, and he shared, “I really appreciate the production aspect of music and how an artist chooses particular sounds, and complimentary guitar riffs etc.” Everything in Minus Touch is tastefully done, and each layer is distinctly placed.
DeBoe has been working on music for a while. Prior to Tide Rider, he had been recording instrumentals. “I generally record vocals last, I like recording the instrumental of the song beforehand. That way I can determine the interplay between guitars, synths and leave space for the vox.”
Minus Touch is a play off of the Greek mythology of King Midas who turned everything into gold by his touch. But DeBoe expresses in the song that his experience is quite opposite.
I’ve got the minus touch, or so I’m toldTide Rider – “Minus Touch” (Genius)
‘Cause everything I do turns the opposite of gold
I’ve got the minus touch, it’s clear to see
I’ve got the minus touch, don’t come near me
DeBoe shared that he wrote the song after a few tough days at work. “I have my hand in a lot of different jars, sometimes I have days where it seems everything goes wrong. I wrote this song in a way where it can be attributed to a relationship as well, not in my case, but it is a lot more relatable for listeners.”
As for music that DeBoe has been listening to, he listed Wild Nothing, Real Estate, Hazel English, The Radio Dept. He also draws influence from Beach Boys, Cocteau Twins, and The Smiths. “Loving the new Radio Dept.,” he added. “‘You Fear the Wrong Thing’ and ‘Your True Name’ are pretty much perfect songs.”
Honestly, I’m hooked on Minus Touch. This is a great single, and I have no doubt we’ll hear a lot more from DeBoe and Tide Rider.
Tide Rider links: