In times of great anxiety, music can heal. That’s true for the fans finding new tunes, and for the artists expressing themselves through art.
Ask the members of Jupiter Sprites.
The Olympia-based dream pop band released its first full-length album “Holographic” on Friday. With seven tracks clocking in at just over 30 minutes, “Holographic” is packed with ethereal, dream-like rhythm.
It’s the type of sound that makes listeners feel like they’re peacefully floating. It’s music that prompted Dusty Henry with Seattle-based music juggernaut KEXP-FM to write: “It’s music to get lost in — the soundtrack to embracing a daydream that you don’t want to snap out of.”
Jupiter Sprites started independently producing “Holographic” late last year. It was a tough time for the band members. Some personal experiences led to stress and anxiety. Two band members, Alicia and Portia Capp, were hospitalized for mental health reasons. The band channeled those life experiences into the music.
“We all got out in one piece,” said Max Keena, who plays guitar and synthesizer. He also writes music and sings, along with Alicia Capp.
The creative process of making “Holographic” was a journey to find balance in the midst of anxiety, said Keena. It’s music about learning things about yourself and striving to live a healthy life.
They didn’t write their music before they recorded it.
“It just kind of happens in real time. It’s not like we have a concrete idea for a whole arrangement, it’s really just me and [Alicia] figuring it out,” said Keena.
In May, they sent the completed album to a third party to put on the finishing touches. Initially, they had planned to release it in the summer. As activists across the world began uniting in protest of police brutality and violence against people of color, however, the band decided it wasn't the right time to release their album. Too many more important things were happening in the world that people needed to focus on.
They sat with the finished album until a more appropriate time came along. That time was last Friday, Oct. 16.
The band is proud of its work and the reception it has received, Keena said.
It’s the longest recording they’ve produced in the six years they’ve been a band. Keena moved to Olympia from Virginia with drummer Mike Elliott when they were 18. Keena met Alicia Capp, and they started playing music together. Sometime after that, they enlisted Elliott to play with them.
They started getting more serious about their music somewhere around 2017, when they released their EP gummyblossom. Alicia Capp’s sibling Portia Capp joined them about two years ago. Portia plays bass.
They released a second, self-titled EP in 2019.
Before COVID-19 turned much of normal life upside down, Jupiter Sprites played live shows. In fact, they initially had tossed around the idea of touring this summer to support the new album. But all those plans had to be scrapped.
Without the chance to play live music, it’s a hard time to be a musician, said Keena. The band is a passion project for its members, not their main source of income.
Keena hopes fans can find something in Jupiter Sprites’ music to hold onto in uncertain times.
“It’s been a crazy year for everybody,” Keena said. “There’s a lot of civil unrest, a lot of fear and anxiety and we just kind of hope that this music that we made will … help people feel better.”