nzoa ad august



by Sam Smith

Fresh Talent: Dirty Pixels

by Sam Smith

Fresh Talent: Dirty Pixels

Dirty Pixels is the new solo project of Auckland musician Ethan Moore. Formerly bassist with indie band Charlie Freak, Moore began working on Dirty Pixels music back in late-2014, putting it aside while Charlie Freak recorded and performed.

“I didn’t touch Dirty Pixels for a few years, and when Charlie Freak stopped playing together last November I started recording songs again, and then realised I could potentially do an EP.”

A four-track EP titled ‘Spacesuit’ came out in May, with Moore describing the sound as bedroom stadium pop.

“I thought that sounded pretty funny because a lot of people make bedroom songs and garage music. I’m doing the homemade thing out of necessity, but I want high production to the best of my ability. So that’s why I thought ‘bedroom stadium pop’ was a funny phrase because it’s made in the same way as most lo-fi and bedroom music is, but I was striving for a bigger grand sound.”

He says he was listening to Britpop bands including Orange Juice, Pulp, Blur and Oasis while self-recording at home. The EP really began life as a 30-second demo of what became the title track.

“It was when I wrote and started recording Spacesuit and it started coming along, that was kind of the catalyst. I got my friend Leith Towers, who is the singer in Charlie Freak and a really amazing guitar player, to come in and do the solo. I was like, ‘This is a cool sound that I’ve got, I reckon I could elaborate on this and make a full piece of songs.’ I had other songs, I had some older ones that I kind of morphed to fit the instrumentation and general sound of the EP, and I wrote some of the songs while I was recording it, but Spacesuit was the first and last song I finished.”

Translating the music into a live performance proved difficult at first, given his ambitions.

“I wanted it to be a big band with a big sound, so everyone singing in the band. And I didn’t want to play the guitar, I wanted to be able to do the tambourines and perform a little bit more. But that was quite hard at band practices where I was trying to teach everyone parts that I’d played. We pretty much replicated the EP to the best of our ability, there are a few differences, but I think it’s sounding pretty good.”

Despite being early days for Dirty Pixels, Moore sees it as a long-term project. 

“I’d like to record more music. I’d like to keep releasing better singles, EPs and albums as I go. I would also just love to continue to play with other great Auckland bands and try to get into a studio and record live music. As much as I enjoyed doing it on my own, I want the sound to keep getting bigger and better.”