When Zach Hurd first started Bay Ledges in 2015, it was in his bedroom. His ongoing musical project is the result of years of practice through middle school and hitting the open mic circuit during college, encouraged by such an iconic array of artists as Aretha Franklin, the Band, and the Beach Boys. From humble beginnings, Hurd has since expanded Bay Ledges’ image into a sleek indie pop and rock machine, with syncopating accents and glossy production making for a lustrous, attractive overall package. A mainstay at festivals such as SandJam Fest, Festival d’ete’ de Quebec, and Kaaboo, Bay Ledges exudes a modern, grassroots fame, with Hurd’s stellar songwriting at its center.
Replete with melodious, atmospheric synths and a cool, laid-back disposition, “Electric Dream” feels a lot like what its name implies. The tune takes ample influence from disco and electropop scenes with synthetic beats and melodies pervading the soundscape’s halls from the front to the back. It’s the latest single from off of Bay Ledges’ newest EP, In Waves, set to be released on 30 November via S-Curve. Ahead of the EP’s release, Hurd sat down with PopMatters for a brief Q&A regarding the song and project.
What is “Electric Dream” about?
It’s about going out and dancing. The whole scene – standing in line at some club, hoping you might meet someone that night and trying to break out of your self-awareness. For me, there’s always been this hump I have to get over of forgetting about what I look like to other people when I’m dancing. The song observes that conflict of not wanting to be judged but also really wanting to move and be free.
Are there any notable influences (whether a someone or something) behind the creation of “Electric Dream”?
Jackson Greenberg (co-writer and producer) and I wanted the song to feel old, like something you might hear on some old VHS movie. We also wanted it to have some swagger, to feel like a little party – something you want to move to.
Any funny or interesting stories surrounding the writing/recording process for this one?
There was a version of the song that Jackson had finished a couple of years ago. I loved it. As he was moving on to some film score projects, he sent the song to me to see if it might be useful for Bay Ledges. At the time I’d just planned on doing a remix for him, but as I kept working on it, I asked if I could change the lyrics around and sing on it too. The original lyrics surrounded meeting someone while being out in Los Angeles, so I decided to stay with this theme. After I’d gotten it as far as I could, we met up, about a year later, and pieced the old and new elements together. It’s cool now to hear the collage of an arrangement we created over the course of the whole process.
November 7 /// Higher Ground /// Burlington, VT†
November 8 /// Brighton Music Hall /// Boston, MA†
November 9 /// The Foundry /// Philadelphia, PA†
November 10 /// The Southern /// Charlottesville, VA†
November 11 /// Metro Gallery /// Baltimore, MD
November 14 /// Aisle 5 /// Atlanta, GA
November 15 /// Jack Rabbits /// Jacksonville, FL
November 16 /// The Social /// Orlando, FL
November 17 /// The Orpheum /// Tampa Bay, FL
†with Magic City Hippies