Death From Above 1979 are back with their dancey new single ‘One + One’. Check it out below, along with the band talking to us about their upcoming fourth album ‘Is 4 Lovers’.
Their first new material since 2017’s ‘Outrage Is Now‘, ‘One + One’ plays on the brutal simplicity of their earlier material but with the dancier elements elevated and a more human aspect to the lyrics. The Canadian duo explained to NME how the track is the “karmic sequel” to their early single and cult favourite ‘Romantic Rights’.
“The song musically started, like everything else on this record, as Jesse [F Keeler, bassist] and I working in a tiny room together,” drummer and vocalist Sebastien Grainger told NME. “I took a bunch of the songs away on a CD and listened to them on a trip with my wife.
“It was just Jesse and I jamming, and my wife was like, ‘This could be dancier – y’know, a little sexier?’ So we conceived a child and then I went home and rewrote the drums. It’s a bid of a nod to our first record. It’s got the beat-du-jour that we used when we were first coming up.”
He continued: “Lyrically, the song just followed suit after that. It’s a lovesong written before and after my wife was with child. The song tracks the narrative of having someone you love and then making another person with them.”
Elaborating on the theme, Keeler explained: “With ‘Romantic Rights’, the chorus was ‘I don’t need you, I want you’, this song is saying, ‘Actually, it’s been enough and now I can admit that I really do need you!’ It’s not a weakness to say that. It makes sense.”
Opening up about the character of the new album, Grainger told NME how it follows the thread of ‘One + One’ and is very much a record all about love.
“The album is called ‘Is 4 Lovers’ and that theme is infused throughout the record,” he said. “There’s a playfulness throughout it all. We took a very holistic approach to the record and it all feels like one statement. To reduce it down to one statement, the title does that. It started as a joke on that slogan ‘Virginia Is For Lovers’, plus the ‘4’ is a cheeky nod to this being our fourth record. Really, it’s a love record.”
This time, the album was entirely produced by the band themselves. Taking on board all the lessons they learned from previous producers and opening up their sound to all of the new tricks that they’re now able to pull off on stage, ‘Is 4 Lovers’ benefits from “a freedom of songwriting” and the most definitive statement of who they are as artists. “This is the distillation of us,” said Keller. “It’s the most unfettered version of Death From Above so far.”
“Now it’s 2021 and the doors are wide open,” Keeler told NME. “When can we do ‘Low’ [David Bowie] and just make one side of songs and another of ambient noise? We tried that, but Jesse can’t help writing songs over the jams.”
Explaining the impact of self-producing, Grainger said: “Because we didn’t have to articulate any idea out loud or defend anything to anyone, the level of trust that Jesse and I had for one another was pretty high. We were just playing and writing while totally unaffected by anyone’s opinion or any other references. We just squeezed all of the cool stuff that we could out of the work without thinking about anything else.
“There’s a song on the album called ‘NYC Power Elite’. When Jesse played that riff, I just leaned into it and that unlocked the potential of the rest of the record. That validated our choice to do it on our own.”
Death From Above 1979 release ‘IS 4 LOVERS’ on March 26. Check out the tracklist below:
‘One + One’
‘N.Y.C. Power Elite Part I’
‘N.Y.C. Power Elite Part II’
‘Totally Wiped Out’