To be sure, the blueprint that gives the indie rock stalwarts’ 10th LP its form was there from the start. As frontman Britt Daniel puts it, the band wanted to “shoot for that great rock and roll album status.” It was a desire born as much as a reaction to Spoon’s previous effort, 2017’s “fairly pieced together, very produced” Hot Thoughts, as it was a response to modern music at large.
“I don’t think there’s enough great rock and roll records out there,” says Daniel.
Their intention was to deliver this return to rock in 2020. After years living in Los Angeles and recording everywhere from rural New York to Portland, Daniel moved back to Austin, Texas in the fall of 2019. Guitarist/keyboardist Alex Fischel followed close behind, with Spoon convening in drummer Jim Eno’s Public Hi-Fi studio right in the capitol. The band was aiming to break away from the sounds of their recent albums by reconnecting with the “identity and culture” of the city that birthed them.
“We had made the last couple records in isolation,” Daniel explains. “When you’re working on a record with [Hot Thoughts and They Want My Soul producer] David Fridmann, and you’re working out in the woods in this one studio where you’re staying in these little bunk beds, it’s a different experience from being in a city where you can go out and have a drink or go see a show and then bring that energy back home and write a song with it. That was the design.”