Indie electro-pop band Electric Guest released the excellent Plurals earlier this year, and they’re hitting the road throughout September. Thrillcall has a pair of free tickets to give away to one lucky winner at every show!
Electric Guest (source)
Asa Taccone needed “to come back to himself.” After years of grinding towards a dream, the Electric Guest frontman and his musical partner, Matthew Compton, finally achieved breakout success with their 2012 debut, ‘Mondo.’ Recorded with longtime friend and mentor Danger Mouse, the album was an unqualified success, but for all the benefits that came from working with an established producer, Taccone wanted to know who he was independently. Rather than lose himself in some idea of success, he wanted to define himself on his own, so he quietly recorded a left-turn of a follow-up album alone in his bedroom. It was a somber reflection of a particularly difficult stretch of life. He poured over every detail, stressed over every sound and syllable, and then, when it was finished, he threw it away.
“It kind of broke me down mentally,” reflects Taccone, “Nobody liked it, not the few people who’s opinions I trust, not the label-& after sitting with it-I realized it was garbage too, but the great thing about it was that it inspired me to get me back to what music used to be for me: intuitive, and not over-intellectualized. Once I scrapped that record, a completely different album emerged really quickly and naturally & I love it so much more.”
Enter ‘Plural,’ a record that finds Taccone and Compton at the absolute top of their game, infusing their version of electronic r&b with an even more confident, adventurous spirit than ‘Mondo’ displayed. And that’s saying something, because ‘Mondo’ was a life-changer for the band. Rolling Stone called it “a Beck-ian journey into L.A. slacker soul, full of hooky neon jams,” while Entertainment Weekly hailed its “winking falsetto and retro swagger,” and The Guardian praised its “soulful, funked-up pop.”
When it came time to record ‘Plural,’ Taccone forced himself to simplify and look for the joy in writing and recording that had inspired the band’s debut.
“I just realized that working quickly and intuitively is part of the magic of making music,” says Taccone. “I think a lot of music suffers when people get into a studio and feel like the process has to be this heady thing. When you go in with expectations, it wears down the levity and the fluidity that the natural process should have. And that’s not to say there weren’t songs on this record that were puzzles we had to figure out, but making music is supposed to be fun, and it was important for us to get back to that.”
“I think we found that it’s better to record all of your initial ideas quickly and then spend more time whittling them down to the most important components,” adds Compton. “While we were making the new album I found myself being influenced by things that were very simple but rich in texture and still posses an emotional payoff.”
Taccone’s faced down his devil, and he emerges on ‘Plural’ much stronger for having done it. By searching within, he found the courage to begin again, he stopped overthinking and second-guessing and tapped into the truest part of his self, pure and unfiltered. He wrote these songs in an effort to figure out who he was. With an album this good, it won’t be long before the rest of the world figures out who Electric Guest is, too.