Showtime Goma: Conspiracy Theory

Showtime Goma brings together a community of collaborators

Jen Goma is a creative fireball. Over the past few years, she’s been singing, writing lyrics and composing music for A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Roman á Clef and several other outfits. At the same time, she was working with Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier on Smiley Face, her debut as Showtime Goma.

“I like collaborating with other people, but I do a lot of work by myself,” says Goma. “For my album I did the cover art, made all the videos and did my own hair and makeup. I was also the guitar tech, sang all the vocal parts, played the keyboards and guitars and created the drum loops.”

The music covers a lot of ground. “What’s A Fight Look Like” suggests a psychedelic surf-guitar romp; “How R U?” is a skewed love song that juxtaposes Goma’s dreamy vocals with distorted guitars and asymmetrical percussion textures; and “Big Disaster” sounds like a pop hit, with a solid backbeat supporting Goma’s enthusiastic vocal.

While the album has her name on it, Goma doesn’t want to take sole credit for the finished product. Collaborators included Ben Daniels and Ryan Newmyer from A Sunny Day In Glasgow and percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, as well as Saunier. The songs were assembled from files exchanged via email during intense days in Goma’s and Saunier’s homes layering drum parts and found sounds, and recording Goma’s extraordinary vocals.

“There’s lot of stuff that goes into making a record that’s not the sound,” says Goma. “Like, who bought the chips that one day, so there was happiness in the room. It’s hard to explain what everyone contributed in terms of enthusiasm, ideas, snacks, energy, plugins, music and lyrics. If I had done it alone, it would sound completely different.”

j. poet