Westberg

Westberg2020-06-23T16:33:04+00:00

Project Description

Similar Artists:  Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty, Chrissie Hynde

Gen X are often referred to as the invisible ones. But in 2020, the lost generation is finding itself. It feels prophetic that the husband and wife duo, Westberg, the generation of latchkey kids, would set out to give Gen X a voice prior to being propelled into a pandemic. They say, “As kids, I think we were much more adapted to being alone or with fewer people or our families for extended periods of time.” Ariel Westberg and RIAA-certified multi-platinum pop/electronic producer Scott Bruzenak aka Noisecastle III were both latchkey kids. They say, “In 1992 you’d come home and have a handful of albums to listen to, a handful of video games that you probably got from the mall, maybe a movie rented from Blockbuster, maybe some TV. That’s it. You were alone or maybe hanging out with one or two friends.” 

“We’re used to a slightly more deprived state.”

Their Gen X studies began in 2018 when the duo began production on their upcoming EP. The duo frames their Gen X experience as they drift into middle age. There’s a persistent questioning of how we got here amongst a sentiment of resilience and survival. It represents a  hope for the present moment, both for Gen X and other generations.

RELEASES

“Simple” Single
Release Date: June 29, 2020

Record Label: Noisecastle III

Westberg, the Gen X duo of Ariel Westberg and Scott Bruzenak (aka Noisecastle III), wanted to get back to simple. That didn’t mean their usual experimentation was off the table: they collected melodic fragments and blended some of their hallmark eclectic harmonic detours that still ended up in several songs on the resultant album, Boomer Studies, due out Sept 18. The first single off the album, coincidentally titled “Simple” is a generous reflection on aging gracefully, by a musical collaboration still a long way from being done creating surprises for their listeners. 

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Bio

Gen X are often referred to as the invisible ones. But in 2020, the lost generation is finding itself. It feels prophetic that the husband and wife duo, Westberg, the generation of latchkey kids, would set out to give Gen X a voice prior to being propelled into a pandemic. They say, “As kids, I think we were much more adapted to being alone or with fewer people or our families for extended periods of time.” Ariel Westberg and RIAA-certified multi-platinum pop/electronic producer Scott Bruzenak aka Noisecastle III were both latchkey kids. They say, “In 1992 you'd come home and have a handful of albums to listen to, a handful of video games that you probably got from the mall, maybe a movie rented from Blockbuster, maybe some TV. That's it. You were alone or maybe hanging out with one or two friends.”  

“We're used to a slightly more deprived state.”

Their Gen X studies began in 2018 when the duo began production on their upcoming EP. The duo frames their Gen X experience as they drift into middle age. There’s a persistent questioning of how we got here amongst a sentiment of resilience and survival. It represents a  hope for the present moment, both for Gen X and other generations.

Gen X grew up in an era where radical changes were becoming the norm, and Westberg (singer-songwriter) and Bruzenak (producer, writer, guitars) have evolved cheerfully through many incarnations as a songwriting duo. They originally started with a neo-80’s pop band, then did an electro-folk album, as well as a trip-hop style EP. They formed this new project a couple years ago, with the intention of focusing on pure, classic American songwriting.

The duo first met at The Evergreen State College before ending up in Los Angeles together. While at Evergreen, they lived next door to where Nirvana once played a famous show on campus, in "the mods.”.  Living in the wake of grunge music and DIY as "classical" music majors in the weirdest school in the US, they immersed themselves in far flung music. Think Charles Ives, Avant Garde free jazz, Captain Beefheart, Stockhausen, Nancarrow, and folk music from around the world. 

Initially they were simply intoxicated with each other and with creating. They started with a ridiculous electropop project in 2003 called Secrets and Horses, which you can still find lurking in the darker corners of the internet.  That was a particularly snarky effort, with influences of Cyndi Lauper, non-binary sexuality, satire, Oingo Boingo and B52s.  The next project which originally came out in 2006, “Ariel Westberg,” was a much more personal “electrofolk” project focused around Westberg’s melodies and poetry, and Bruzenak’s “chamber pop” guitar/modular synth arrangements.  Both of those projects somehow found their way onto KCRW.  

In 2012 they released a cinematic trip-hop EP called “The 500 Steps” which was their first earnest exploration of LA.  “All of these efforts were things we found fun at the time,” they say, “Westberg is fun too, but this time we’re kind of trying to mythologize our daily lives both as transplant Angelenos and adults.”

“We went in that direction out of a desire to both make ourselves happy and to make some shadowy audience, that doesn’t exist yet, happy.  Or sad.  Or something.  We’re ‘negative but nice’ this time around.”