Tomten is a trio from Seattle, Washington. Often described as Baroque or Dream Pop for their prominent use of organ/electric piano/ and analog synthesizers, they share a wide influence from early power-pop to electric folk. Tomten is touring to support the recently released The Farewell Party produced by Jason Quever, (Papercuts, Beach House, Cass McCombs) on Versicolor Records.
We caught up with Tomten while on tour to talk wedding songs and gnomes!
Give us some backstory on Tomten…
I started Tomten back in 2010 with Jake Brady on drums, and Lena Simon on bass. We all met at Cornish College of the Arts. They had been in the music department, while I was enrolled in Theatre. Lena and I started writing music together when we first met back in 2008, we'd record demos in the practice rooms and back then the songs were all over the place as we hadn't really found a sound yet. Dillon Sturtevant is playing Bass with us now on this tour and it's great to have him.
What has been the most memorable experience on the road so far?
I think the most memorable experience so far happened last night in San Diego. We played a really fun show at The Tin Can. Upon arriving we met a girl named Emily who had a hand in booking and it was her last night at the venue. She said she'd picked up our previous LP last time we were in town and that she'd used our song "Lofty" off that record as the first dance at her wedding. I was really moved by that so I snuck into our van before the set, relearned the song, and played it for her at the show. It was very touching.
What can one expect at a Tomten show?
One can expect to hear a lot of new songs off our record The Farewell Party. We're touring as a trio, so I've been playing three different keyboards, the Korg cx-3, Crumar Performer, and a Nord that samples some Orchestron and Mellotron. I feel a tad prog-gier this time around.
How did you come to pick your band name?
I found the name in an Astrid Lindgren children's book entitled "The Tomten and The Fox." The Tomten has become sort of a santa claus figure, a little old gnome of sorts that comes out in the wintertime and looks over the household. I just liked the name, and it happened to stick.
What is next for Tomten?
As I write this we are about to head east into 110+ degree desert, so I suppose what's next is a whole lot of pain and loathing. See you at The Drinkery, if we make it out alive.