DESPITE LIVING ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC, SONGWRITING DUO OF SEAN DUNLOP (DETROIT) AND JAMIE RADFORD (LONDON), AKA THESE CURIOUS THOUGHTS, COLLABORATE BRILLIANTLY—AND ALLOW THEIR FACEBOOK FANS TO EXPERIENCE THEIR PROCESS AND CONTRIBUTE IDEAS IN REAL TIME
The two have a very unique international setup as they create a constant flow of what Dunlop calls “indie rock that’s progressive, introspective, poetic, upbeat, catchy, strange and unique…(a vibe that) some people say is a cross between The Beatles and REM.” Radford pens the words from his home base in London and emails them to Dunlop, who lives and makes music in his studio in Detroit. Because the two collaborate so seamlessly despite living on different continents, they thought it was in line with their crafty sense of humor to say they met in 2004 while vacationing separately in Tingo Maria, Peru, where they were introduced to the Ancient Society of Mound Builders. The less glamorous reality is that Dunlop and Radford met on a “musicians wanted”-type website. When Dunlop read one of Radford’s off the wall lyrics, he was hooked. Dunlop, whose college major was history, couldn’t get enough of Radford’s riff on Civil War zombies.
Once the two clicked and became prolific partners, Dunlop had the idea to create an internet based band with contributing members from all over the world. When that didn’t pan out, the two formed a local Detroit band called Shock of the Cold. Their first album, Listen At Your Own Risk, was written and recorded over six months and consisted of over 30 songs. In 2006, Shock played at the Emergenza Music Festival in Detroit and took first place in all three rounds of the competition, beating out many local bands. Shock earned the opportunity to perform in front of 1,600 people at the Majestic Theater where Dunlop won Best Guitarist. In 2007, Radford came to visit the band and participate in one of their shows. The band performed throughout the Midwest and released 3 full length albums. When the band dismembered in 2008, Dunlop and Radford decided to forge ahead creating a new band, These Curious Thoughts—and quickly gained a buzz for their multi-faceted albums whose covers featured the colorful artwork of Dunlop’s dad, Hill. These Curious Thoughts’ discography includes The World Outside, The Colour of Sound, Lets See What 2moro Brings, Building Mountains from the Ground, What is It, and How did it get in There?, Inventing Dr. Sutherland and his Traveling Hospital, A Decade in the Shadows, Xrays of the Imagination, and their newest album, Making Friends with the Universe.
TCT is constantly writing music via their popular Facebook fan page, where they invite their international fans to participate in their ongoing evolution as a creative team—posting songs and accompanying videos as soon as they record them. “Our fans are commenting on our songs and becoming more actively involved,” says Dunlop. “We have also asked our fans what we should be writing about and getting amazing feedback.”
“The distance actually helps us as collaborators,” says Dunlop. “Jim writes the lyrics at his leisure, and I record and do all the videos at my leisure. This gives us the ability to be fully focused on our creativity when we feel creative. Since we don’t pay for studio time, I have the ability to work on the music and make it right, and not worry about my time ending. We don’t live in the past, and the music we’re creating today truly reflects where we are—almost like a soundtrack to our lives.”
TCT is currently working on songs for their next album. Find out what is happening in real time by visiting, www.facebook.com/thesecuriousthoughts