Grant Eadie just can't seem to stop himself from trying new things.
A classically trained musician versed in multiple instruments including viola, violin, and guitar, the 24-year-old behind Manatee Commune is pretty much a one-man band and sound machine. Recently, he's been getting to know drum kits. "I think it's just a classic example of millennial ADHD," Eadie jokes. "I get bored really easily."
Luckily, the millennial restlessness that drives him to experiment is what makes Manatee Commune such an atypical EDM outfit.
His self-titled 2016 album was informed by a range of genres, full of deep sound textures and melodic twists and turns. He's also got a penchant for finding the right voices to complement his off-kilter, down-tempo style—like Northwest singer-songwriter Marina Price, on 2014's chill and dreamy Brush, or Detroit-based Siena Liggins, who appears on Manatee Commune's latest single, "Like Me."
Eadie also uses samples and field recordings taken from the woods of the Pacific Northwest, "white noise" that he says infuses his already organic-sounding beats with "a subdued sense of warmth. I feel like the Northwest in particular has this special sound quality that's really mysterious and magical."
Growing up in the DIY scene in Bellingham, Eadie started out going the standard indie-rock-band route, but then found he wanted to make music by himself, and "it just turned into electronic music, kind of by accident." Originally, he was drawn to the heady, weed-saturated deep house vibes of Floating Points and Gold Panda, but soon decided he wanted his live shows to have a little more... energy. Every artist has their calling, and Eadie realized that his was getting people to shake their ass.
"I wanted people to dance at the shows, and get down and be crazy and do weird stuff," he explains. "And so it became a dance music thing in a really natural way, because I just wanted the people to react."
In the Pacific Northwest, a region that tends to lean more toward gentle head-bobbing than wild dancing, it's a challenge Eadie seems up for, and reflected in a sound that is super dancey but laid-back, fun but not frantic, dreamy but not too sleek.
And Manatee Commune's December 30 and 31 shows at Neumos promise to be a visually rich, light-saturated extravaganza, albeit in "a really, really tasteful way." For the first time, Eadie and his lighting designer had an actual budget to work with, and they may have overdone it a bit.
"I spent like five hundred dollars on bubble machines alone," he says.
On top of all that decadence, since it's Manatee Commune, there will also be the mandatory mix of weirdness and ass shaking, so get ready to get down.