Bill Doss of psych-pop experimentalists Olivia Tremor Control passed away today at the age of 44. Doss was the front-man for the band since its inception in 1994, when his previous band Flying Synthetic Machine disbanded. The members of that band, including Doss, Jeff Mangum and Will Cullen Hart, moved on to other bands, though Hart would wind up playing an important part in Olivia Tremor Control’s development and Mangum would contribute to future OTC releases.
The news of his passing comes after talk began circulating recently about an upcoming album of new material from the release-shy band. Their last official long player, 1999’s Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One, culled influences from such pop heavy weights as The Beach Boys, The Zombies, and The Beatles. Doss was able to submerge himself in these influences and come away with albums so entrenched in pop history that the albums felt less like simple homage and more like spiritual successors to the albums from his musical heroes.
And though Doss leaves behind a body of work that may not have been as extensive as his fans would have liked, the legacy that he created as co-founder of the Elephant 6 Collective and the pure pop freakout bliss that he dreamed up in Olivia Tremor Control lays claim to his incalculable influence on hundreds of like-minded pop bands that were weaned on E6 records. Bill Doss created worlds of unimaginable pop perfection in his time among us. Our thoughts go out to his wife and close friends and to the multitudes of fans mourning his all-too-brief life.