Cecil Otter is a compelling musician for the same reasons he’s good with cards. The technique runs on charm, patience, intuition, and precision. Cecil is one of the founding members of Doomtree. As an emcee he’s admired for his lyric, cinematic style. He writes about love, vengeance, and redemption—and the spaces where the three convene. His narratives ride on his imagery: sepia flickers of loners, beauties, ghosts, and vagabonds. As a producer, his sound is nostalgic. He features swooning guitar lines, masterful drums, vinyl crackle, and distant voices. The effect is melodic, often melancholic, and seems to draw on the sentiment of another, more romantic era.
Cecil’s fascination with rap music started when his big sister ran away from home. She left a box of rap cassettes beneath her bed, all intentionally mislabeled to prevent confiscation by her parents. Easy E with a Jon Bon Jovi sticker. NWA as Michael Bolton. At eight, Cecil memorized every word, intent on impressing her when she returned. A few years later, Cecil learned to skate, went semi-pro and spent hours practicing with high school friends Stef (P.O.S) and Johnny (Paper Tiger). Kai (MK Larada) made the occasional visit, often with a camera in hand. The same varied cast of characters began making music together—some rap, some punk, some rock—and by 2000 the name Doomtree surfaced. Now, almost a decade later, Cecil has contributed to nearly a dozen releases in the Doomtree Records catalog. His most recent full-length, Rebel Yellow, was re-released by Sage Francis for Strange Famous Records. He’s now recording his solo project, Porcelain Revolver.