The result was something of a creative jolt with accomplished producer Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Super Furry Animals) at the helm of a new approach to writing and recording. Their previous pursuit of polished pop has been thankfully put behind them for something infinitely more listenable.
"We really wanted to get away from the sterility of our previous approach to recording," says Eiesland.
The change up plays nowhere better than the latest single, Drifting, from Roll Call Records. The track, which was recorded as part of a new album with legendary producer Joe Chiccarelli (Spoon, White Stripes, The Shins) shows something considerably more haunting than anything the band had done before.
Drifting was inspired by falling asleep behind the wheel while trying to forget unforgettable things. The band calls the song the most "naked" sound they have ever produced, pushing the sonic bar set by their debut album Give In when the band was trying to establish a new sound.
The result was something of an enigma — experimental pop compositions loaded up with synthesizers and scattershot electro beats. The guitars, bass, and drums were often included only as ambient afterthought.
One of the notable exceptions was their pace-setting single Ghosts, which de-emphasized the electronic splash of the album and pushed the instrumentals as well as Eiesland's vocals to the forefront. And if Drifting is any indication of what to expect from the sophomore album, then the evolutionary split seems to occur with Ghosts in mind.
Ghosts, much like Drifting, underpins the band's insight into coming to terms with the traps that life frequently springs upon the unsuspecting. And it's often in these themes that the band sizzles with a fresh electricity and unnerved openness.
Where Drifting and the upcoming album sets itself apart is in the year-plus of experience that the band picked up on tour and at festivals all over Europe and the United States. When they returned to Minneapolis to begin writing their new album, they knew precisely how they to expand and where they wanted grow sonically and as a band. Much of the new album features collaborative writing and experimental live tracking, and perhaps a little less reliance on filling every stitch of space.
Drifting By On And On Goes On And On At 7.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.
On And On can be a little trickier to pin down than some artists. Give In was largely discovered on SoundCloud, where fan listens drove several singles to the top of the Hype Machine Popular chart. It was their success on SoundCloud that prompted music producers to invite the band to play at various festivals around the world.
Drifting is currently being offered as a free download from the band's website. An email address is required to download the track. To hear a sampling of songs from their debut album Give In, visit Roll Call Records. The band also supports a Facebook page, which lists upcoming show dates with Big Data.
The tour will likely be the first opportunity to hear the sophomore album in full. The release date is currently to be determined. The best guess is that it will land in the summer, a few months after the band makes an appearance at SXSW.