Singer / songwriter Drew Andrews, formerly of Via Satellite and The Album Leaf, has launched a new project called Bit Maps.
The band features the same lineup as Andrews' backing band for his solo material: James Zzyzzyx, Josh Carlson, Erik Nordgaard and Matt Bennett. But, sonically, the band is taking on an entirely new sound, which Andrews says arose out of experimenting with new instruments.
"I got hold of a Fender Rhodes piano—it's kind of my Cadillac," Andrews says. "With Album Leaf, I saw Jimmy [Lavalle] use it, and I fell in love with the sound and tone."
Andrews describes Bit Maps as "influenced a lot by electronic music," but translated into live instrumental arrangements. And the group will also incorporate more samples than Andrews did with his solo work.
This integration of live and electronic sounds ties into a full-length record that Andrews and his band have been working on for more than a year. The record, On Demand Living , is "80 percent done," Andrews says.
"It's a concept sort of record that revolves around themes like the title suggests—how everything is right at our hands... how we're sort of evolving into a new human person and the integration of home life and cyber life," he says. "It's not necessarily that I'm against technology. To me, we're at a time and place where there's not enough of a filter. It seemed like a good time to explore that."
Andrews says the album is tentatively set for a May or June release. Bit Maps will play their debut show at Whistle Stop Bar on Friday, March 28.