Especially for a solo artist, entering Detroit’s music scene is no simple task. These days musicians are often required to formulate original ways of generating a buzz within our oversaturated market. Local songwriter M. James, operating under the moniker Homme Alone (Homme as in French for “man”—appropriate as he plays everything himself) will be releasing a self-titled EP this Saturday with a listening party scheduled soon after at Ferndale’s Hybrid Moments in preparation for his upcoming full-length.
In 2008 James recorded his debut The Hanging Tree with John Nash (Electric Six) and is currently working on its follow-up with Matt Dalton of 37 Studios in Rochester Hills. “He’s a fucking magician,” James says of Dalton. “He’s the yin to my yang when it comes to ideas… I really am grateful that I found him.” James values the opportunity to work with an engineer who’s eager to try things like experimenting with mic placements, or putting an amp inside an icebox. “He doesn’t just run things through software; he has a really physical approach. It was almost like an art the way he was doing it… I don’t understand what’s going on in [his] head and I don’t know if I want to—but it’s fucking cool.”
James plans to assemble a band and begin playing shows by early next year. “There will be heavy songs, and there will be just pianos—really soft kind of shit. I will probably have a live cello, violin, a really a big production,” he says. “I really like acoustic sounds but I also really like electronic music, so I’m trying to find that perfect blend… I want to have a club sensibility but an actual metal overtone.
“These are the thoughts I have in my head all day long… sometimes they can be scary, sometimes they’re really dark. But I think it’s kind of cathartic just to get it out, push the psyche… stretch myself to write different things.
“It’s not one specific genre… every single song has got its own feeling. It’s very dramatic,” says James. “Maybe avant-garde would be a good way to put it.”
Homme Alone EP release— Saturday, 10/30 via hommealonemusic.com • Overdose: Homme Alone listening party w/ DJ Matte Black • Saturday, 11/13, 9pm-2am • Hybrid Moments • 22730 Woodward Ave, Ferndale • free