Editor’s note: The print version of this story gave conflicting dates for the ‘Casio Quartz’ album release party. The event will be held on Thursday, July 26, at 9 PM.
He went to school to study music production and audio engineering, and has always planned on releasing an album. For Thomas Gentil, a 2011 Colusa High School graduate and local business owner, that ambition has become finally become a reality.
“I’m not a known artist. I’m not,” Gentil said in an interview last week. “People have begun to learn of me as the ‘Generations guy’ – not even Thomas – just the guy at Generations. Now, the guy at Generations is going to drop a studio album that he’s always wanted to do. Besides clothing, this is what I wanted to do. I want to give people something else to know me for.”
On Thursday, Gentil will officially release ‘Casio Quartz’ – an album that he describes as quintessentially Colusa – and will play the album for the public for the first time, at a show hosted by the Colusa County Arts Council.
“It’s simple,” Gentil said of his album. “It’s 37 minutes total of listening time. It’s not a whole lot, but as my first project, I’m proud of it, and I’m ready to release it. I want people to hear it.”
…”If you’re from Colusa, there will be at least one song on this that you will relate to…As someone who was born in Yuba City, and always kind of lived outside of the city limits but did my schooling here, I always felt kind of like an outsider, but with a unique perspective. I always had an appreciation for the town. I never thought I’d do something like this – an album for the town – but once the process started, it was comfortable.”
Work on the album, originally titled ‘A Block Away from Eighth and Main’ – a reference to Colusa’s water towers that stand just outside of Gentil’s downtown business –began in Jan. 2017, but it really started to come together after Arts Council member Brendan Farrell convinced Gentil to join the group that summer. Gentil said that Thursday night work sessions with Farrell and other local artists fostered a creative and collaborative atmosphere that inspired him to finish the album, refine it, and to craft it into the finished product he will release this week.
In its 12 tracks, ‘Casio Quartz’ combines Gentil’s raw and often intimate improvisational lyrics with a varied instrumental production – including slide guitar, acoustic guitar, catchy saxophone riffs, acoustic and digital drums, as well as some unconventional and creative sound samples – that defies categorization.
“I was trying to find out how many different instruments I could put on this one album, whether it be a real instrument, or a digital instrument, or even just samples…” Gentil said. “I’ve never known how to give a genre to this –I literally said just singer/songwriter. Brendan called it experimental pop, which I’m OK with. I’m open – the listener is going to label is what they want to label it anyway.”
Whatever label they choose to ascribe to it, listeners will have their first chance to hear ‘Casio Quartz’ at 9 PM on Thursday night, at the Colusa County Arts Council building. Gentil will have CDs available for purchase for $10, and 10 percent of his sales will go back to the Colusa County Arts Council.
“It’s for the arts council. By supporting me, people are supporting the Arts Council. And that’s why I joined. I’m utilizing my talents and what I can give to help give back, and it’s through art. It’s exciting,” Gentil said