Marty Marquis is a Portland, Oregon-based artist best known for his work with the rock group Blitzen Trapper
. Skookum Sound
is his first solo LP, written and recorded mostly over a two week period around the vernal equinox in 2016. Clocking in at just under a half-hour, eleven succinct songs reveal a fascination with mellotron and chromatic stepwise movement and brood lyrically on the tension between home and road, absence and presence.
Working out of his tiny home, Skookum Sound
was framed out with an acoustic guitar and that magical sampler/drum machine/synth/4-track combo, the OP-1. Marquis then enlisted the help of friend and producer Martin Gonzalez, who curated the eventual tracklist and recorded finishing touches, as well as mixing the record at Portland's Type Foundry. The entire project was in fact realized locally: mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph
and pressed by Cascade Record Pressing
, with jackets printed by Stumptown Printers
A native of Yakima, Washington, Marquis cut his teeth on early MTV and Broadway showtunes; his first musical purchase was a Sugar Hill Records compilation on K-Tel vinyl. He was fifteen years old the fateful day his mom brought home a $10 yard-sale guitar. After teaching himself some chords from a Beatles
songbook he immediately began composing music, and founded chthonic high-school band Boneyard Jack soon after.
In 1996 following a lengthy bout of hitchhiking he met Eric Earley on a haunted mountain in the deep south and with him later established Blitzen Trapper (then Garmonbozia
) in fin de siècle Portland. World tours, television appearances, and modest acclaim eventually ensued. In 2010 Marquis took over keyboard duties for the band and experienced a "songwriting renaissance" while learning the new instrument.
Early this decade a newfound obsession with analog synthesis spawned his Switched-On Goodbye Bread
, an all-Moog version of the Ty Seagal record that was noticed by Pitchfork and others. Also a writer and visual artist, Marquis' insignia for the cover of Blitzen Trapper's seminal Furr
was hailed by Paste as one of the best band logos of all time. Marquis lives in southeast Portland with his wife and two children.
Hi-res B&W image
by Jade Harris :: For press inquiries or booking please contact Marty