INTERVIEW with Dallas, Texas-based duo COOL SET about “Summer Retro”

INTERVIEW with Dallas, Texas-based duo COOL SET about “Summer Retro”

Dallas, Texas-based duo Cool Set released their debut single/music video, “Summer Retro,” not too long ago. They were made up of Jose Sandoval and Tex Sirisawat, who chased their sonic dreams before connecting and finally got together via a mutual friend. Jose’s song, “Unwind,” went viral on Spotify while Tex played in punk and indie-rock bands. Once together, their creative chemistry resulted in glossy waves of retro-flavoured electro-pop.

The song’s genesis occurred one night as they bounced ideas off each other. 2020 forced them to put the recording on hold. Finally, in June, they entered Iconic Valve Studios in Dallas, working with producer Casey Di Iorio.

Directed by Jared Sagal, the visuals were shot in Los Angeles, depicting an overview of the boardwalk at Santa Monica Pier, followed by Cool Set visiting famous locations – Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, and Sunset Blvd.

Shimmering with creamy layers of colour, “Summer Retro” celebrates the cool vibes of summer as people return to a more normal way of life.

XS Noize spoke with Cool Set to dive into the inspiration for “Summer Retro,” the evolution of their sound, and what the future holds for Cool Set.

You two were in different bands before linking up on this project?

We both had solo projects and played show together frequently in Dallas, TX.

What’s the music scene in Dallas like these days?

In my opinion, there doesn’t seem to be as much of a tight-knit group of musicians as there used to be.  Also, as time goes by, people start moving away, starting families, etcetera.  The music scene is highly diverse, though. You can find a great band/artist in just about every genre you can think of.

What inspired your new single, “Summer Retro?”

This was the first idea we wrote together.  We were listening to some ideas on Jose’s computer, and this one stuck out, and we decided to give it a go.  It was just one of those things that worked out.  We rewrote the chorus several times before it stuck.

How did you connect with producer Casey Di?

Tex had been recording at his studio for years with his previous projects and bands.

How did you come up with the concept for the visual??

It was probably the most obvious and cliché, but there’s no denying a California summer.  However, we both agreed that we wanted to give it a “retro” feel because of the lyrics.

What do you want people to take away from the video?

We wrote the song right at the beginning of the pandemic, so it is all about remembering the good times, celebrating life, and hopefully, this is the song for the ultimate coming out of the COVID-19 party.

Has your sound evolved organically, or would you say you’ve pushed it deliberately in a particular direction?

Our sound is always evolving.  We are constantly listening to references and new songs that inspire us.  The only direction I think we try to push towards is throwing the best dance/pop party we can.

What music is influencing you today? In your opinion, are any artists or bands killing it right now?

The 80s/electronic will always be the go-to.  But the past few years, I’ve been getting into a lot more pop/funk music. I can’t say who is killing it in general, but I can say what bands I love right now: Roosevelt, Great Good Fine Ok, Pink Roses.

Are there any dream labels that you’d love to be signed to?

I don’t we have any dream labels.  There have been so many crazy stories we’ve heard with labels.  I think we want to be with someone who believes in us, is willing to let us have creative control, and has a budget so that we can get out there and make things happen.

Have you been performing live this year?

We have done a few shows here and there, but live shows are still not where they used to be.

What can new fans expect from you down the line?

More music and shows.  Since music online is so accessible now, artists don’t have to wait to complete an entire album or EP to release music.  Once we think it’s good enough, we can make it live. We want to be able to play anywhere and bring people the best dance party possible.

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