Seven Layer Piano Cakes is the name given to musician Justin Hoyt’s latest musical endeavour, a tribute of sorts to the music of his past. Hoyt is probably the only lawyer and law professor you will find doubling as a serious songwriter, and it speaks to the diversity of talents he has worked hard to achieve and refine.

Based in Los Angeles, Hoyt is a classically trained pianist and singer whose goal is to write, perform, and produce music that is a throwback to the sounds and complexities of musical eras gone by. As a versatile and well-rounded musician, Hoyt prefers not to be defined by just one sound, the way artists like The Beach Boys, Elliott Smith, Depeche Mode, and Sufjan Stevens have navigated their careers. The only thing you can be sure about with Seven Layer Piano Cakes is that you will get a myriad of musical layers and some intricate vocal harmonies.

To celebrate the release of his latest single, a gothic-influenced dark pop-rocker called “Holy Water,” Hoyt, aka Sagittarius J, joins us to count down a random-but-fun liquid-influenced list of his favourite water-related things…

1. Favourite Drinking Water

“New York City tap water. Nothing beats the unfiltered goodness of NYC’s finest. There’s a reason that the pizza and bagels in New York have always been unmatched. Evian, Fiji, all this Icelandic and alkaline stuff, it’s good, sure, but I’d rather just turn the sink on and enjoy what nature gave us.”

2. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink

Crystal Pepsi, no doubt. I swear it tastes different, and better, than regular cola. If Luther Vandross’ voice were converted into a beverage, I bet it would be Crystal Pepsi; it’s that velvety smooth. It somehow didn’t catch on when it first came out in the early to mid-’90s, but it’s still out there if you’re willing to order from places of questionable repute on the internet. I recently got a batch from Canada and can’t remember the last time I was this happy.”

3. Favourite Alcoholic Drink

“Sidecar. Likely the least popular of the classic cocktails (we can thank Mad Men for making Old Fashioneds the bro drink of choice, and Manhattans will always be popular, rightfully so), the Sidecar has always been underrated. Cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and a splash of orange juice, it’s like the best parts of an Orange Julius without having to go to a mall food court, with a sneaky kick to it.”

Artwork for the album ‘Nebula’ by Seven Layer Piano Cakes

4. Favourite Songs That Mention Water

“‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon & Garfunkel, ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince, ‘Surf’s Up’ by the Beach Boys, ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna, ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain?’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘When the Levee Breaks’ by Led Zeppelin, ‘Digital Bath’ by Deftones, and ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’ by Burt Bacharach.”

5. Favourite Surfing Break

“Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu. Not that I can hang there, but when Pipeline is pumping, it’s one of the most beautiful sights in the world. For amateurs like myself, I would say Third Point in Malibu.”

6. Favourite Waterfall

“Vernal Falls in Yosemite. Obviously, there are bigger and more impressive waterfalls, but the waterfall is so beautiful and refreshing as you are hiking the Mist Trail and beyond up to Half Dome.”

7. Favourite Type of Assets

“Anything liquid.”

8. Favourite Water Zodiac Sign

“As a Sagittarius (fire sign), I’m a bit outside my lane on this, but if I had to pick a water sign, Pisces for sure. With all due respect to the Scorpios and Cancers of the world, I’ve found Pisces folks to be a perfect blend of creative, cerebral, and mysterious. Coincidentally, I have dated more Pisces women than any other sign.”

9. Favourite Waterbed

“All of them. I’ve never had one, but growing up, one of my best friends did, and it was magical to take a nap at his place. It was cool to see some waterbed love in the recent P.T. Anderson film Licorice Pizza. I am really hoping that waterbeds and Crystal Pepsi make a comeback in the near future.”

10. Favourite Hot Springs

“The springs near the Springs Resort & Spa in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The place has like 20 different pools fed by the natural hot springs, featuring 20 different temperatures. Some tepid, some cool, some warm, some hot, and some are just scalding. Nothing beats skiing up at Wolf Creek and then spending the evening in those pools. Except for Crystal Pepsi.”

Author

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.