Spoon have shared the first taster from their new album ‘Lucifer On The Sofa’. Check new single ‘The Hardest Cut’ below, along with our interview with frontman Britt Daniel.
The track is a frenetic introduction to the indie veterans’ 10th studio album, which is described as the Austin band’s “purest rock’n’roll record to date”. It follows 2017’s ‘Hot Thoughts’ and marks the first material that the four-piece put together in their home state of Texas in more than a decade.
“‘The Hardest Cut’ was the first song that Alex [Fischel, keys and guitar] and I wrote when we moved back to Texas to work on this album,” fontman Britt Daniel told NME. “He had some chords and then I came up with this sort of drop D riff that we called ‘the Texas riff’, because that’s what it sounded like to us. We called the song ‘Texas Riff’ for a while, until I got some words to it.
“I always wanted to have a Spoon song that had the vibe of ‘Run Run Run’ by The Who. So it was the combination of three things; Alex’s chords, my riff and ‘Run Run Run’. And then we had it – ‘The Hardest Cut’.”
The track’s gory video is described by Daniel as “an adventure flick”, and features the band playing a strange house party full of dead-eyed guests. As well as some stilted synchronised dancing, there’s a fair bit of blood and a mysterious figure watching eerily from the corner.
Speaking to NME in 2018, Spoon talked about wanting to move away from the “futuristic” vibe of ‘Hot Thoughts’. Three years later and they appear to have succeeded, taking ‘Lucifer On The Sofa’ further into the realm of classic rock – with the type of intensity and intimacy you’d expect from a band playing live to a packed-out room.
“It’s a record we decided we wanted to make when we were touring the last one,” Daniel told NME of their new material. “We toured ‘Hot Thoughts’ longer and with more shows than any other album we’ve ever done, which is saying a lot. While we were out there, we kept discovering that we were playing the songs from the last album better on the road than they were on the record.
“So the idea was to take that energy that you get from playing songs live and being on the road and hashing out the songs, using that energy first. So you’re not starting with a demo and building on it; you’re actually getting in a room and experiencing that sound together and working from there. You’re not figuring out the song as you record it. You figure it out, then you record it. That was a big part of it.”
As well as being influenced by life on the road, Daniel explained that Spoon were also naturally inspired by Texas and their new-but-old surroundings, especially before the pandemic hit.
“I’m from Texas. I was born there, grew up there and the band started there,” said Daniel. “The first couple of albums were made entirely in Texas, and then we started making them in various places. The last couple were made with [producer] Dave Fridmann in upstate New York in his studio, which is out in the woods, but we wanted to make a record where we could take in the vibe of a city while we were making it and writing it too.
“Pre-pandemic, Alex and I would work on songs all day, then we’d go out and see a show in Austin and just kind of grab some of that energy and that vibe, then take it back and work on songs for the rest of the night. It’s just a different experience, and Austin’s got so much of that – it’s so diverse.”
Daniel noted that ‘Lucifer On The Sofa’ is “a little bit earthier” than previous Spoon releases, and that people that had heard and enjoyed the last few records would be “pleasantly surprised” by their upcoming album. “It’s got a love song on it, or maybe even a couple of love songs,” he said. “It’s just fun – a record for some good times.”
Fans will be able to get a taster of the live Spoon experience on October 28 and 29, when the band will be performing via livestream for BACK TO THE LIFE //LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES. Directed by Andreas Neumann from the Teragram in Los Angeles, the show will feature songs from their entire back catalogue, as well as cuts from the new album. Visit here for tickets and information.
“Touring is like falling into the most delicious big bowl of mashed potatoes and then having to eat your way out of it day by day. I mean, what’s not to love?” Daniel continued when asked about the band’s return to live shows.
“I was warned by some friends who were on tour that it would maybe be like, half as fun. I think it’s at least 80 per cent as fun. We have these protocols that make things a little different but for the most part, it’s just amazing. I love touring and the fact that we can do that now and we have a good bit of it in front of us is a pretty magical feeling.”
Spoon will release ‘Lucifer On The Sofa’ on February 11, 2022 via Matador. You can find the full tracklist below and pre-order the album here.
‘The Hardest Cut’
‘The Devil & Mister Jones’
‘On The Radio’
‘Lucifer On The Sofa’
Earlier this year, Spoon shared covers of two Tom Petty classics on digital streaming platforms for the first time. Their versions of ‘Breakdown’ and ‘A Face In The Crowd’ were recorded at the Catacomb in Austin in 2020 and were originally broadcast as part of two livestream events that year.