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The eerie and terrifying beauty of an electrical transformer exploding in a lightning storm was the inspiration for Mig Artugue’s musical alias too long sparks. It is a suitable moniker for a project which builds dark, ambient pop songs with beautifully discordant guitars and ukuleles, looping layers of live and found sounds, while Mig’s expressive tenor lilts from narcotized falsetto to the occasional unfettered roar.
The Bay Area punk scene of the early ’90s found Mig experimenting with fragmentary chord structures and feedback, writing songs that he and his band would perform on stage with groups like Urge Overkill and the pre-Rancid U.K. Subs. A return to the Pacific Northwest brought new influences and ideas about the conventions of songwriting and the blurring of genre boundaries. A short tour in Australia in 2013 provided much optimism that the playfully sarcastic songwriting of too long sparks could potentially be as universally appreciated as an electrical storm on warm, cozy night.