Atomic Tortoise began as an acoustic solo project by Aaron Younce in 2005, and over time, has become an evolving collaboration of friends creating a unique blend of rock and nocturnal folk. But each record has its own unique tone and direction, presenting a challenge for any cynic to label.
Their debut, Upended Hourglass, was released in 2005 and is essentially a pensive, flamenco-inflected singer/songwriter album. Supporting Aaron’s vocals, guitars, and other effects on the record are David Tam (keyboards), Ryan Odello (congas) and Drew Cueva (drums).
The second release, Entropy [and the relative study of negative space] (2009), is a concept album still peppered with flamenco guitar flourishes, but largely overrun by heavily effected electric guitars, keyboards, vocal harmonies, myriad overdubs, and long-winded expanses of digital and analogue soundscapes. Drew Cueva provided drum parts for some of the album, while it is otherwise entirely instrumented by Aaron.
In 2013, Atomic Tortoise released The Castaway EP, an effort characterized by more accessible songs that channel an aggressive, if somewhat spaghetti western-influenced rock sound. Joining Aaron on the EP is recurring drummer Drew Cueva, and bassist Benjamin Strange.
During the Castaway sessions, Aaron also recorded a collection of finger style gypsy-folk songs, which will be released in 2014.