“From bedroom producer to mainstage.” That’s the motto of 17-year-old producing wunderkind Sam Martinsen, popularly known as pluko. In the last year, pluko has proved that motto is by no means all talk. Martinsen’s explosive first year as pluko has seen him burst outside the walls of his small Pennsylvania town to play Coachella’s Do Lab stage and amphitheaters around the country in support of Odesza. Now, we’re proud to present pluko’s latest leap forward as an artist, his first official release as a part of Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective–the sonic dream that is “asleep.”
To describe “asleep” is to describe the moment in between falling in and out of a dream. pluko’s hypnotically entrancing production and MOONZz’ idyllic vocals join together to create a dizzying sense of serene beauty. The two complement one another exceptionally well, so it’s all the more surprising to discover that “asleep” was the byproduct of both pluko’s first-ever studio session and session with another artist. Yet, perhaps it’s the very nature of this first-ever experience that explains the profound feeling of authenticity emanating from within “asleep.”
Martinsen was kind enough to share with us the origins of “asleep,” as well a small promise that this is certainly is not the last we will be hearing from pluko,
“So I wrote the main section with the piano and the vocal chops on a rainy day in Pennsylvania. The structure of the track was pretty basic until my session with MOONZz. After that experience, something just hit me and the emotions really just started flowing into this thing. I really hope you guys love this first one. I cannot wait for you to hear what I’ve been working on the last year or so.”
pluko creates a veritable dreamscape for the listener to lose oneself in, yet there’s an inescapable sense of longing behind MOONZz’ lyrics. A sense of yearning that pluko magnifies through subtle yet striking production details, such as the panning of MOONZz’ vocals and the far-off vocal samplings dispersed throughout the final moments of the track. MOONZz expanded further on this sense of yearning,
“Sometimes your dreams are the only place you can see someone who isn’t with us anymore. I wrote this song with that in mind, after my sister shared that she lost a friend of hers. It really sparked this thought inside of me like, I just want to stay asleep so I can be with you one more time.”
The sentiment strikes right on target. What pluko and MOONZz have done on “asleep” is nothing short of pure brilliance, giving sonic form to that indescribable moment in time that lies somewhere between a dream and reality.
Take your first listen to “asleep” below: