It was somewhere in remote Alaska that Michael Gold—who records and performs pop–infused psych-rock as Mirror Tree—began to realize that he was officially on the road less traveled. “I was flying around between all these native villages and all these little, muddy gravel air strips in a single-engine Cessna, in and out of snowstorms, and landing on ice-covered runways,” says Gold, who worked for several years as a pilot in the Last Frontier, and currently is based out of Los Angeles, and flies a 737 for a major airline. Raised in L.A., Gold was formally trained in classical and jazz piano, and the wonders and possibilities of music seeped into him. He continued pursuing music in college, studying jazz piano at nearby CalArts, where he lived in a barn in the remote town of Val Verde, which was at one point known as the “Black Palm Springs.” Around this time, he joined the indie-disco band Poolside as a keyboardist/vocalist, bouncing around the world on tour with them, as well co-writing songs like the disco-rock-fusion epic “Feel Alright.” (18 million streams on Spotify and counting.) Gold teamed up with former Poolside bandmate Filip Nikolic to develop his sound—something like a mishmash of Supertramp and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. With Gold serving as the main writing and performing force of Mirror Tree, and Nikolic producing the set, while co-writing and performing on some tracks as well, Mirror Tree took flight. Gold would demo out songs and at his home studio, and then bring them to Nikolic’s studio, where they would work together to create grooves worthy of ELO for the chillwave generation.