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Artists in residence: Time Wharp, Places, New Animal, and Featureless Ghost

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Places

Listen to Places "Black Lion"

Nico Giarrano records in the loft space of a ramshackle barn behind his parent's house in Marietta. His mother's antique furniture collection surrounds his guitars, drums and other instruments. Mannequins, lamps, picture frames and other decorative objects are scattered around. The jumbled furnishings collected here resemble his scatter-brained but promising full-length, March. The fresh-faced and earnest 20-year-old explains that after playing drums for most of his life, he taught himself to play guitar in the seclusion of this loft.

My brother had bought a bunch of recording equipment and, whenever he was gone, I just started messing with it. At first, I was bad at guitar, I mean really bad. I learned how to play by recording myself and then playing over it.

I would record two chords — everybody knows chords — and then just start messing around. You kinda get a feel for what notes work with what. If someone would come out here, like Dad would work on the computer or my brother would come out, I would just stop. I wouldn't play in front of them. Especially with someone like your parents, it doesn't really matter. They're not going to judge you, but I would be so scared to be bad. Being by myself and alone out here helped.

I still can't track vocals with anyone around. When I record, it's such an improvisational thing that it sounds awful the first few takes.

I really just love when music is simple and pretty. The most surprising songs or melodies are the ones that seem like you've heard them before or that you could have come up with. For almost all of my songs that's where the inclination is leaning — a desire to listen to something pretty.

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