Seattle-based indietronica producer Ark Patrol (aka Brandon Gomez) has been going off the beaten path since his 2014 debut album, Voyager, and hasn’t stopped heading down that road since. Originally from the Hawaiian island of Oahu, the young experimentalist’s sound is best described as warm and harmonious, riddled with 8-bit snippets, video game samples, and lush vocals. He calls this dream-meets-arcade style “Soultronica,” a new sonic foray he’s been attempting to pioneer; and rather successfully, one might add.
Ark Patrol’s newest album, Geode, lays out another visceral landscape that one can get completely lost in. Listeners will immediately hear Gomez’s classical, chillwave, and island influences on the nine-track LP. From the soft, eukalele-inspired strings on “Refusal,” to the indie-rock vibes on “Can You Hear The Future?” and “Falling From Heaven,” to the odd synths and strange melodies on “King,” Geode beautifully showcases Ark Patrol’s variety and dynamic range.
Both on the album and throughout his growing catalog, Ark Patrol asserts a profound command of tension, release, and emotional themes like nostalgia in such a way that puts him on par with Four Tet, Tame Impala, and the like. Not a bad collection of artists to be associated with. Considering the young artist studied at Berklee College of Music and went on to pursue a Movie Scoring degree at UCLA, it’s no wonder Gomez’s sound is so unique, nuanced, and wildly his own. This is a guy who doesn’t question his instincts.
Above all, Geode is an embodiment of what it means to be alive. In 2018, Ark Patrol was diagnosed with cancer, during which time he turned to his creative escape as a way to cope with and overcome the disease. Going into remission last year opened a new chapter in Gomez’s life, which he is living to the fullest both personally and artistically. Starting 2019 off in a new light, he released his self-titled EP, Ark Patrol, which lead to tours with artists such as Baynk and Big Wild.
Despite living and creating in the middle of a global pandemic, 2020 is shaping up to be another explosive year for the immensely talented creator.