Museum Of Love – the duo made up of LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney and DFA Records musician Dennis McNany (aka Jee Day) – have shared the cinematic video for their new single ‘Marching Orders’. See it first on NME below, along with our interview with the band.
Following on from the single ‘Cluttered World‘, this is another taster of ‘Life Of Mammals’, the duo’s long-awaited follow-up to their 2014 DFA-released self-titled debut, which they have described to NME as a “joyful and escapist” listen.
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“‘Marching Orders’ was probably the first piece of music for this record,” McNany told NME. “We were set up in our studio in Brooklyn on the day of the Women’s March, and I remember starting to write the seeds of that song. That’s where it all started, with this cool marching machine sound.
“We have our influences but we’re really bad at following them. What starts as a Fleetwood Mac sound will then turn into something completely different, or a Biggie Smalls beat will then evolve into this bizarre love song to New York City.”
Mahoney continued: “We wanted to make something like Don Cherry, with tonnes of percussion and full with a sound that sounded like a lot of people, even though it was just us two. Plus I wanted Dennis to do a really skronky Neil Young guitar solo, which he obliged with an added Prince freak-out.
“So many of the bands I loved growing up were trying to imitate something really faithfully and they just couldn’t do it, so they filtered it through their own weird sensibility. I’ve always loved just being to feel our way through: not being able to play it the way we want to, but knowing when the expression of what we’re trying to do is worthwhile and what we were looking for anyway.”
Recorded over the last seven years in the downtime between Mahoney’s life on the road with LCD and McNany’s various music and business commitments, ‘Life Of Mammals’ was recorded at the pair’s own Brooklyn studio and reflects the tumultuous mood of recent years while set to a hopeful and cosmic soundscape.
“It was a pretty bleak time,” Mahoney said. “There was so much going on politically. Not that it’s an overtly political record, but there was a malaise that we were feeling in the late Obama years. Some of those themes are expressed while living in period of Late Capitalism, or whatever you want to call it.
“It’s also about family relationships and our intimate lives with the people that we’re involved with, plus loss, friendship and a lot of stuff like that. We weren’t 23 shouting: ‘Let’s party and change the world’ – it’s more reflective.”
Of the record’s sound, Mahoney told NME: “We had been living on the edge of the dance music world and just wanted to make a record that went wherever it went and got weird where it wanted to. It gets rocky where needed and just pushes into this strange territory. There are a lot of quotes from our past in there, too.”
While ‘Life Of Mammals’ was self-produced, the album was mixed by Mahoney’s LCD Soundsystem bandmate and DFA Records founder James Murphy.
“He was very busy for the first record we made so we did that all ourselves,” said Mahoney. “The sonic landscape was a bit more simple. We did another mix of this record that was a bit more simple, but we just ran out of time while working in the old DFA studio, which has now closed.
“We played it for James and he said: ‘I love this record, it’s great. I’d love to take a crack at mixing it, I think I can make it more coherent’. We said: ‘Sure, don’t fuck it up’ and he did great. He made it sound like it was coming from one place. He did a wonderful job from his own studio where he was very generous with his time.”
With it now approaching four years since LCD Soundsystem’s acclaimed comeback album ‘American Dream‘, LCD fans are eager for news of their next return. However, Mahoney warned that they shouldn’t hold their breath just yet.
“We live in different countries. James, Nancy and I live in New York, so we see each other and talk about stuff, but right now no-one can plan everything,” Mahoney told NME. “No-one knows the endgame and everything is a massive holding pattern. In some ways, it’s a good time to be putting out another record and concentrating on that.”
As for his hopes for ‘Life Of Mammals’, Mahoney said that he just hoped it would find a home with music fans looking for a little escape during these troubled times.
“We’ve made an album and not a series of singles because it’s a place to go in your head,” he added. “You can travel and inhabit it. Some of the themes were about how difficult togetherness was in the modern world before the pandemic, but something about it feels very true right now.”
Back in November James Murphy presented a show on NTS Radio, spinning key songs that soundtracked the early days of DFA Records, which he co-founded in 2001.
‘Life Of Mammals’ is released on July 9 via Skint Records.