From Mexico to Glasgow to Las Vegas via ancient South American rituals – singer/guitarist Alex Trimble takes us on a journey through Two Door Cinema Club’s new album, ‘Beacon’.
Released: September 3
Producer: Jacknife Lee (U2)
Electronic bleeps give way to needly guitar chops on this driving opener
Alex: “It was one of the first new ones we put down on the record after ‘Handshake’, ‘Sleep Alone’ and ‘Settle’, which were written quite a long time before that. It’s a song for friends who we never see.”
Bombay Bicycle Club-ish vocals lead into a typically Two Door indie-dance heavy-hitter
This was the first song we wrote post-‘Tourist History’, back in September 2010. We played it live the week after we wrote it and it’s just stuck with us.
Funk meets Foals as layers of guitars pile up
“It’s got a Theremin on it! When we came into the studio, Jacknife [Lee, producer] asked, ‘Have you got any goals for this record?’, and I said, ‘I want to play a Theremin’, so the next day he bought one.”
“Ocean blue… what have I done to you?” Alex croons on this touching number
“This almost never became a song. I had the chorus hook lying around for months, but I didn’t propose it to the band because I never thought it would be a Two Door Cinema Club song. It swung so much and it kind of sounded like a ’40s or ’50s jive thing. But they liked it, and it became this weird, hip-hoppy, Motown-y song.”
The speed’s cranked here for the most immediate dancefloor-filler of the album
“This was the last to be fully finished. Sam returned home, Kev went on holiday and I set off on a road trip. I wrote the lyrics while on that and came back into the studio the day before I went home and recorded it. I went around California, out into the Nevada desert, to Las Vegas, lost a lot of money and then went back to LA.”
The shuffly, urgent single – as heard at last summer’s festies
“This song was written in Glasgow. It came out of a load of weird dreams I’d been having, and I started thinking about dreams and researching dreams. It was plaguing my mind, so I wrote all the lyrics about that. Then the music came out in about a day.”
Valentina’s layered vocals add a hazy pull to Two Door’s first duet
I was writing the words in LA, I wrote them in one night and as soon as I did I knew there had to be a girl singing them with me. We’d discovered [London singer] Valentina through ‘Gabriel’, the track she did with Joe Goddard.
Melancholy in tone but euphoric in sound – an album highlight
‘Settle’ almost came together in a soundcheck. Sam was playing this kind of Celtic riff and we just started jamming, then we took it home and worked on it. It’s the most melancholic song on the record. It’s about the first time we moved to London and we had a horrible little flat – it just wasn’t a nice place to be.
The sound of Two Door expanding – watch your backs, Arcade Fire?
“It’s a slow song that builds all the way through and becomes quite epic, which is something that we’d never really attempted before. It’s us trying to push ourselves to see how big a sound we could get.”
Shins-y vocal swoops give this powerful bluster
This is kind of a spooky, weird little number. It starts off with this guitar hook that sounds like it should be in a Tim Burton film or something. It’s got weird lyrics influenced by a day we spent in Mexico. We went out to the pyramids and performed ancient rituals.
Alex sings about “the light that never dies” on the reflective closer
“It’s a very open song and it encapsulates the feeling of the album. There’s a feeling of distance and longing coming and going throughout the record.”
Where did the name ‘Beacon’ come from?
Alex: The song ‘Beacon’ is the reason the album’s called ‘Beacon’. It’s about longing for a place or a person or a point in time or a point in life, and it symbolised that for all of us. It’s the perfect closer for the record.