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  • Writer's pictureBrian Delaney

Oh Bummer!: Past Projects, New Music & Life in LA [INTERVIEW]

Hailing from Seattle, Oh Bummer! is ready to shake things up in 2024. Coming out of the gate swinging, Oh Bummer! has recently dropped two new singles, setting himself up for a wild year ahead. Now based in LA, singer/songwriter Tanner Houghton offers a unique blend of folk storytelling, intimate bedroom-pop delivery, and trip-hop-inspired beats, creating a sound all his own that will surely resonate with the masses. With casual yet insightful lyrics, Houghton explores the complexities of navigating life with honesty and humor, inviting listeners to relate to the ups and downs of everyday existence.

First landing on our radar with, "Watch it Break," we were instantly hooked by Oh Bummer!'s laid back swag, playful melodies and moody performance. Dropped off with an official video that only further helps you catch a vibe, "Watch it Break," is a moody jam that relies on slick, ominous, guitar driven production, haunting harmonies and a dynamic performance that is sure to keep you on your toes. While verse one features laid back melodies, verse two kicks in hard with a rap verse that adds the perfect amount of bounce to the track and helps to show off Oh Bummer!'s undeniable versatility. I can almost guarantee you don't see it coming and coupled with the video, you can't help but think, "dang - did dis dude just do dat?"

While still riding high from the buzz around, "Watch it Break," Oh Bummer! doubled down, following closely behind with his full 7-track project, "To Be A Part of the World," which features a variety of vibes throughout, not only putting Oh Bummer!'s arsenal of abilities on full display, but also ensuring this project has something for everyone.

Having found ourselves so impressed by Oh Bummer!'s recent releases, as well as his ability to be a person who can maybe also be friends with other people, we knew we had to get him on board for a chat. Do yourselves a favor and peep the project below, and if you are impressed (like we were), keep scrolling to check out all of the hard-hitting questions we asked him in our interview below


RDFO: I guess I should start with – what the heck has got ya down Oh Bummer! What’s up with the name? What inspired it? (I’m super into it by the way)

OB: I liked the name “bummer” but there were too many of those out there, so we added an Oh and an exclamation point, 3oh!3 rip-off. And the music is a mix of carefree and heavy themes so I thought it would be fitting. Eh, bummer

RDFO: Having grown up in Seattle but now living in LA, how would you say both locations differ in vibe and how has each influenced your sound and artistry?

OB: I might get chastised for this, but I feel like LA is a melting pot. I can’t think of a specific LA sound. Since so many musicians from so many backgrounds have moved here. And a lot of pop and trending music of course. I actually learned a lot about pop music working with various producers after moving here- and have a new found appreciation for the craft. The PNW sound will stick with me forever though. I love the shoegaze slacker rock, and that influence is a lot more obvious in my other band Buckets.

RDFO: After being part of groups for years, what made you leap into being a solo artist and how do you think those past projects have helped to inspire Oh Bummer!?

OB: Well, it’s a “solo project” as in I’m the boss and the final say, but hardly any of it has been made without help. I basically needed an outlet for my pop/hip-hop sensibilities, since I already had a rock band. So I was introduced to The Kickdrums and we made some beautiful records together. Working with past groups helped teach me how to be adaptable. Everyone’s different and maintaining healthy relationships is really important while working on records.

RDFO: I love your originality and how you blend so many influences on your new single, “Watch It Break.” Did you approach this tune with a plan in mind or did it just start from a spark and develop into what it is?

OB: There’s a saying a love, something like “inspiration is more likely to come after you draw the first line.” And that’s how I operate musically most of the time. I just start. I think this song started with the incredibly simple bass line and then started stacking guitars and drums. I made the demo for this song four years ago so the details escape me. But I held onto the record for so long knowing one day it will be a special song.

RDFO: On the new release, is there anyone you worked with to help bring it to life that you want to shout out?

OB: The Kickdrums. My long-distance producer. He lives in Spain and we made both EPs from across the globe. He either gave all of the demos an amazing facelift, or he would completely remake the instrumentals. My sketchy guitar and his clean production created a really cool sound I think.

RDFO: Do people lose it when they see a bro with a majestic stash straight-spitting bars?

Yes the ladies love me and it’s actually quite stressful and I don’t want to talk about it

RDFO: How do you feel about the solo project so far and do you have any short-term or long-term goals for the project that you feel like sharing?

OB: I feel great about it. I’ve definitely always known I’d be the tortoise in this race. No viral videos, no big playlists, just one fan at a time from doing what I love. I’m finishing up some records with a couple of other producers, and producing my first acoustic album myself which is really special. Oh Bummer! can be whatever I want it to be.

RDFO: Who is on the harms/backing vocals on this single? Love the dynamic between you and them – hella fresh.

OB: That is my girlfriend Jesse. She’s aight (AKA amazing and wonderful and so talented)

RDFO: Do you feel like name-dropping? Who are some of the biggest artists/projects you’ve worked with so far? Any other projects you were a part of that make you proud or that you are really glad you got to be a part of?

OB: My old band Follies & Vices with my buddy Rob Auerbach made some records that I hold very dear to my heart. It’s cool hearing a younger Tanner all bright- eyed and bushy-tailed. We got flown to LA by Grammy award-winning producer Dennis Herring and he convinced us this was the place to be, and he was right.

RDFO: Love the "Watch It Break" video. Weird, fun, chill and clean. How long did it take to shoot and did you do it all in-house or have a team helping you make it happen? The middle dude at the end is a legend – you see that pose?

OB: The video took like two hours to film and my buddy Brandon Tasker filmed and edited the whole thing himself. It’s very throw-and-go when we get together, and he’s amazing to work with. That dude is a legend although he’s drunk on that corner every day and I’m actually worried about him.

RDFO: What else do you have in store for Oh Bummer! this year?

OB: Working on a lot of new music, hoping to play A LOT more shows because that’s my forte, and I’m hoping to make a million dollars so I can stop making TikToks. I would love to tour with this project and spread the bummer vibe all over the world.

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