Tommy Metz works as a web developer and is unassuming and friendly. He's also one of Denver's more prolific musicians. His voice is unexpectedly powerful and brightly melodic, and it floats over his finely crafted beats. Lately, Metz has separated his work, releasing his darker, more experimental pieces under the Iuengliss moniker and issuing his more uplifting, pop-oriented material under his given name. The latest offering from Tommy Metz is Fruitions, a refreshingly coherent set of pop electronica.
"It's kind of about things that you want, or relationships coming to fruition," says Metz of the album. "I wrote thirty songs for the album, but ten of them came together. In the past, I would have finished [a] song and put it out on something."
Metz's self-editing process has yielded satisfying results. "There are certain things you might pursue and you realize they're not going to work," he says. "Which is good for you, because then you can focus on the parts of your life that do come to fruition. I'm always trying to review my life and take the good parts and run with them.
"You have a strong attachment to your music, even if it's not a very good song. You made it, so you feel like it's your baby. But sometimes you kind of need to let those songs go and focus on songs that do come together better."
Metz got an early start making electronic music, after he and a middle-school friend discovered Aphex Twin via the video for "Come to Daddy." Shortly thereafter, Metz received a keyboard for his birthday, and he was able to experiment with primitive multi-tracking. The two friends played live at their school a couple of times -- to mixed reactions from their peers -- and went on to play a handful of house shows during high school. Metz took a break from playing live for a couple of years, and then in 2007 debuted Iuengliss. He had learned to use software like Reason, Cubase, Ableton and Maximus P while building his repertoire of sounds. Even early on, it was clear that he had a gift for writing music that shook off the dust of everyday life and made you feel good and refreshed. Although more ethereal than Washed Out and less R&B-oriented than Toro y Moi, like those bands, Metz has an ability to lift spirits and soothe psyches by using conventionally beautiful sounds in unconventional ways.
In addition to the new album, Metz also recently completed three years of development on a web-based piece of mastering software, which can be found at wavemod.com, that he continues to update.
"I was sitting there with about thirty songs that were rough sketches and little things that I had played around with, and I wanted to master them," says Metz about the origin of the mastering project. "But I didn't want to spend the time to master all thirty songs, because it would take forever. So I thought it would be really cool if there was just a website where you could upload the tracks and it automates the process. It took me about three years to build it, but it's fully automated.
"It's really inexpensive, because I want bedroom producers such as myself to be able to use this thing and have it be a cheap alternative to an engineer. It's not as good as an engineer, but it's good enough for a demo." At the rate he's writing songs these days, Metz won't have trouble finding material with which to hone his software.