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Dance Along to PhasesLM's Explosive Song, "Mechanical Dogs"

"Mechanical Dogs" by Bay Area-based songwriter, producer, and electronic artist Paula Boyd Sutor, aka PhasesLM, sounds exactly like the title. Rumbling synths and clattering drumbeats lend the song a kind of ominous yet infectious urgency. The song's darkness and paranoia doesn't stop it from being incredibly fun to listen to! We chatted briefly with Paula about this song's backstory and what she's up to now. See our conversation below.

1. What can you tell us about the song?

“Mechanical Dogs” was written after a huge lightning storm hit Northern California last August. The idea came from a weird noise I heard outside the morning after the storm. It sounded like a mechanical dog, so I recorded the sound with my phone and that’s how the song started.

2. What was the process of creating the song?

I took the recording from my phone and put it into Cubase to see if I could make it sound more like a dog. After a lot of EQ and filters I came up with something reasonably close, cut it up and added some drums for the rhythm track. I don’t usually write starting with a rhythm track, but this time it worked out.

3. What was the most surprising thing about the process?

I think the most surprising thing was I wasn’t sure what I was writing about but I knew there was something there. Ultimately it turned out to be a kind of giddy paranoia; a danceable sense of impending doom.

4. If you had to dedicate the song to someone, who would it be and why?

I would dedicate it to the town where I live, Pacifica. The lyrics were inspired by life here—particularly all the fireworks and random explosions. The line about “Was it a gun shot or explosive or a firework?” really just captures a typical summer night in Pacifica. For the record, it’s never gun shots, it’s always fireworks or M80’s.

5. Where does the new release fit into the timeline of your musical journey so far?

My musical journey has been a long one and every time I think I’ve reached a destination—the sound and genre that define me—I see something in the distance and I keep moving. But I like how this song, and the EP it’s from, have taken me in a very different direction, and I think there’s more to explore here.

6. What can fans expect next, musically or otherwise?

I just released my EP, “Out at Night,” so I’m looking forward to getting more tracks out there. The songs were all inspired by the lockdown and the events of 2020. Here we are a year later and I think many artists are ready to share their experiences through music, and I’m definitely part of that.

I also have plans to make a music video for the title track, “Out at Night,” and I think the video is going to have roller skating!

7. What do you do when you're not making music?

I spend a lot of time with my family watching movies and playing video games. I’ve also gotten into art and painting—I think that’s another typical pandemic pastime. My day job is in education and right now I’m running a learning hub for elementary school students to help get them ready for the reopening of school.

Keep up with PhasesLM by following her on YouTube (her videos are great!), Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Also check out her website!

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