It’s Been Too Long

Hello internet. It’s been too long since I last updated this website. Much has happened since 2019 and the release of ‘EEP’. Here are the highlights…

Introducing… Murphy Mast

Before jetting off to India in 2017 I reconnected with an old friend, Patrick Murphy (AKA Talking Circles) who I have known since we were in elementary school (4th grade or something like that), but we went to different schools after that and lost touch in our teen years. Our friendship was quickly rekindled in the summer of 2018, and we started making music as Murphy Mast in early 2019. In what felt like no time at all we released our first album, ‘At My Mom’s House‘, in 2020 on our Bandcamp. The album was closely followed by a 5-track EP ‘We Had Plans‘ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year we made a visual album ‘Eno‘ in collaboration with Emmy Award-winning director, video producer, photographer, and long time friend, Elliot Blumberg.

O t h e r s i d e

When the COVID-19 global pandemic began many of us stayed in our homes and played it safe during one of the greatest paradigm shifts of our time. The fear of an incurable virus ushered us into an new era of isolation, of hidden smiles and social distance. It was during this time that I began tele-working for the music school I was managing and teaching at. I spent most of my downtime making music in my home studio, writing poetry, and taking long walks in the woods behind my house between Zoom lessons. It was a lonely time, but there was a silver lining that revealed itself in the connections we were able to maintain with our loved ones from afar.

I stayed in close contact with long-time collaborator and front man of Nature’s Neighbor, Mike Walker, who had just released ‘Windy City Airport’ in January 2020 and was living in Chicago at the time. He wasn’t too keen on starting a new project just yet, but that quickly changed after I sent him a few demos I had produced for him to sing on. The gears started turning, and we decided to put together a five-song EP. Five songs quickly became seven, became nine, and eventually a full length 12-song LP which I produced and mixed with the help of many collaborators.

The album was released on May 14 on the Nature’s Neighbor Bandcamp and went on to receive several positive reviews from review websites and even landed us an Zoom interview with The Underbelly Hours:

“Throughout the album, the group maintains a firm grip on its most experimental impulses, wrestling them into shapes that carefully draw listeners through every stylistic dip, switcheroo, and loop-the-loop. The way “Bold Move” expands its shrunken funk synth into a maximalist intergalactic melody suggests that Walker and Nature’s Neighbor have only begun to explore their creativity.”

– Chicago Reader

“Nature’s Neighbor return with another full length, the eclectic and worldly, Otherside. The album truly has no boundaries, rippling from synthetic laptop-pop to progressive folk and warped R&B with everything else in between touched upon for good measure. Mike Walker teams up once again with frequent collaborator Terrill Mast to create an album conceived and developed during lock-down that in turn sounds as free and adventurous as they come.”

– Post-trash

I’m incredibly proud of the work we did on this album, which holds a warm place in my heart and bookmarks and otherwise daunting time. ‘O t h e r s i d e‘ is now available on all streaming platforms.

Quarantine Dreams

At the same time as I was producing ‘O t h e r s i d e’ I was also working on my own solo music, a lockdown concept album. This time, instead of working with my usual cast of collaborators I produced completely alone. It was a departure from lengthy synth-scores and an exploration of a more singer-songwriter feel with vocals on every song and recurring narrative themes. ‘Quarantine Dreams‘ was released on Bandcamp on July 3, 2020, and then made it’s way to all streaming platforms in March of 2021.

Vignettes Vol.1-5

That same summer, Patrick and I started making rule-based albums called Vignettes. A vignette is any song under two minutes long, and the each collection of songs must be under 30 minutes in length. Since the release of ‘Vignettes Vol.1: 80’s Summer Romance‘ in March 2021, Murphy Mast has released a total of five volumes (each with awesome covers designed by Victor Madrid), with several more on the back-burner. You can listen to all of our short tunes exclusively on our Bandcamp, including our latest, ‘Vignettes Vol.5: Ghostboxes‘.

YM&TP Mk2 + Walking Around

In the fall of 2021 I decided it would be a fun thing to revisit and reproduce from scratch a handful of the songs that I used to play with Nature’s Neighbor back in 2015. I brought up the idea to Mike after putting together a couple of demos and he was fully on board, thus ‘YM&TP Mk2‘.

Shortly after that walk down memory lane, Mike approached me about doing a more experimental, ambient album in collaboration with the incredibly talented Will Kryiazis (AKA Wilk). That project became ‘Walking Around‘. I had lot of fun deviating from typical structures and entering a sonic space that was mainly unbound by rhythm, and working with Will, who helmed production, was a huge privilege.

2022 and Beyond…

After ‘Walking Around’ I started working on a new solo album in early 2022 with the usual cast of characters (Mike Walker, Jed Lingat, Phil Schoof, Ryan Selove, and Perry Cowdery) and have just entered the mastering stage of that album with the one and only Seth Engel. That album will be making its release sometime this summer.

Until then, you can hear me playing piano on another Nature’s Neighbor album, ‘The Glass Album‘ which released only a few days ago and is the best thing Mike has put together yet.

In August of 2022 I resigned from my position as director of a local music school so that I could spend time in Japan with Mike to fulfill a life-long dream of ours. To be brief, it was the journey of a lifetime. While I was there I produced an album of songs that sampled audio from many of the places I have visited. I hope to release it in the fall of 2023… but until then you can see Mike and I jamming on some tunes in his apartment outside of Kyoto.



My latest release entitled ‘EEP’ is a culmination of the various techniques and styles that I have used in the past to manifest my narrative method of composition.

The EP is a fusion of electronic and acoustic textures blended into an instrumental landscape that extends seamlessly from a dark metropolis to the pastoral hinterlands. At its core the album embodies the human struggle for self actualization by creative and romantic means.


The main thing I wanted to explore with this EP is having a constant note (E) droning throughout an eclectic collection of songs. Like many of my previous releases, many of the collaborations were done over the internet with friends in Chicago, Boston, and New York City.

’EEP’ features the talents of Mike Walker (Nature’s Neighbor), Knyves Escobar, Jed Lingat (Rosco the Wolf), Perry Cowdery (Fatkid), Radhika Bhatt, and Phil Schoof. Mastered by Seth Engel (Lifted Bells, Coaster, Options) at Pallet Sound in Chicago, IL.

The 9-track EP is available for pre-order on Bandcamp until it’s release on Friday, September 13.

Album: Trying Times

I’ve been working on this project for the past year and I’m sharing it with all of you now on my Bandcamp. It’s called Trying Times, and for obvious reasons. Without getting into detail, many of these songs are responses to personal challenges. Some are inexplicit reactions to the political and social issues that we have witnessed since I began producing it in August of 2016.

I find it difficult to adequately express what this collection of songs means to me because for so long it has felt like a parasite that I have been unable to remove from my body, and it doesn’t feel the same as it did when I began. I release it now as a manifestation of the hope I have for people to heal, and to find creative ways of coping with fear. I feel very fortunate to have collaborated with so many friends on this album, and grateful for everything that I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy.

TryingTimes Cover

Album: Vein Matter

I am especially excited to announce the latest Nature’s Neighbor release, Vein Matter.

Front man Mike Walker, Brandon Studer (aka Wren Smiles), and I started this album seven months ago via email and kept bouncing ideas off each other. It was like piecing together Frankenstein’s creature for its reanimation, and we were mad scientists at work. Then things eventually came to a slow stop sometime in May, and the three or four tracks we had produced with began to gather digital dust. You know how it goes.

Fast forward a few months to this August when Radhika Bhatt and I set out on a trip to Chicago in a car packed to the brim with musical instruments (plus we kidnapped Zachary Klaus on the way) to stay with Mike Walker and Cheer Zhao. I had left the city over a year ago and it was my first time coming back. During that trip we all reconnected, reveled, and recorded five of the nine tracks that are on this album. Also featured is Austin Thomasson (aka Austin James Christ) who provided vocals and guitar during an all day recording session at his place in Logan Square. We had regained our momentum and set out to finish what we had started.

Inside COVA

To me, Vein Matter encapsulates many of our collective dreams and feelings of Chicago, and of leaving something we love so much behind us as we continually venture onward into the next chapter of our lives. As such, I am happy to leave this behind for you all as I make my way across the globe to live in India for eight months. Cheers!

Big thanks to everyone who helped this creature walk on two feet, and Will Killingsworth for mastering the album so quickly.

Scene: Earth Woman

Very proud to have provided the original score for Alexandra Dietz latest project, Your Way Back to Me, which premiers this Sunday.

Album: Progeny (unmastered)

Finally adding this to the online catalog. It’s been a while since I’ve visited these songs, but I’m proud to release the unmastered compositions from Sara Mast’s ‘Soundings’ entitled Progeny (unmastered). These seven tracks are my contribution to a collaborative multimedia project that explores the construction of shared identity within four generations of our own family through the lens of my grandfather’s legacy. Gifford Morrison Mast (1914-1972) was an early pioneer of American industrial design, an inventor, a physicist, and an optics expert with a particular interest in stereo optics. progeny-coverDuring a trip to Bozeman, MT in 2013 I composed these seven pieces of music using recorded interviews of my family members. The central character of these stories is my late grandmother, Beth Mast, who shared with us many memories and stories of my grandfather. Although many of the pieces are abstract representations of the time I spent with my family uncovering these stories some of the pieces are more explicit and paint a picture of my grandfather that I hadn’t seen before.

Album: Pidji

It’s been a long time coming for this one. I’m very excited to announce the release of the latest Nature’s Neighbor album, Pidji. Big thanks to Mike Walker for featuring me on a few of the songs. Looking forward to future collaborations with this group.


Stream Pidji now on bandcamp and get the cassette from Sooper Records!