It’s bound to be a big night. Baltimore-based collaborative music project Liquid Robots has a transformative new single coming out this September entitled “Cinderella.” Liquid Robots was founded by Mike Morton and Steven Thomas who call upon local Baltimore instrumentalists, choreographers, dancers, singers, and graphic artists like fairy princesses call upon woodland creatures. Together this music collective spans genres such as EDM, retro-pop, LoFi, and funk.
“Cinderella” kicks off with a chime /When the clock strikes midnight/Can’t stop the dream/. A moderate dance beat is highlighted by percussive clicks and clacks doused in reverb as if in an empty ballroom. When the chorus kicks in, that ballroom fills up with all the lovely party-goers ready to get down.
This track explores themes of transformation and individuality. It’s written for those of us who feel like they can’t flaunt their true selves…yet. As the Liquid Robots explain, “A pumpkin turning into a carriage, a person going out into the world and becoming whoever they want to be. There’s a lot of folks hiding their true self, life itself becomes a masquerade ball where everyone wears a disguise.”
On the lead vocals, Morton and Thomas hit up their longtime friend and artist Magnolia Minxxx to embody this message. Magnolia’s sultry voice perfectly carries the tune while vocal harmonies are cleverly layered./ I’m not the person who/You thought you really knew/I’m here to tell ya/Let’s step out from the shade/Escape the masquerade/I’m here to tell ya/I’m Cinderella/.
Magnolia Minxxx & The Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque Revue are also featured in the music video which was produced and edited by Morton and Thomas with videography by William Jones.
“Cinderella” is a dance jam perfect for any party, burlesque show, or fancy ball. And Liquid Robots’ ever-evolving project is definitely worth following as they continue to grow and transform.
Liquid Robots is such a cool project! Can you talk a little about how it came into being?
We met playing in different bands around the Baltimore area and bonded over our love of obscure electronic music. We were always sending each other cool tracks we liked. One day we decided to meet up and record some ideas. Then we couldn’t stop, it was too much fun.
What was the songwriting process like for “Cinderella” and for Liquid Robots in general?
A lot of songs start with just a germ of an idea. Sometimes a lyric, sometimes a sample, sometimes a movie soundtrack. This song started with the lyric, “I’m here to tell ya, I’m Cinderella” which we thought was just a solid hook. From there we developed the idea until this song started to take shape. We reached out to Magnolia Minxxx for vocals and once we got her recording we knew we had a killer track on our hands.
How about recording? What’s that like for a collaborative music project? Do you have a home base for practicing and recording?
Most of what we do is remote. We both have home studio setups and found a flow in sending media back and forth. One of us will be working on some lyrics while the other is doing a mix, or one of us is editing a video while the other is reaching out to singers for our upcoming tracks. It’s a tag team effort and it’s been working for us.
Baltimore is such a great art and music city. Do you feel like the city itself is an influence on your music?
Baltimore is an incredible city filled with incredible people. For years we’ve been going to shows, events and just hanging around interesting folks in the city. Artists, musicians, culinary hot spots, it’s impossible for the creativity of the place not to rub off on you. It doesn’t have the name charm city for nothing.
What’s inspiring you right now (musically or otherwise)?
We try to pull inspiration from all sorts of places to keep our style interesting. Right now we’re working on a track that uses samples from classic video games, while also working on a classic funk track- so our Spotify playlists right now are video-game soundtracks and James Brown. Also been vibing on Djo lately.