Spoon have done it again. Over twenty years in the game and they consistently churn out new material every few years. Yes, the Austinites have essentially stuck to the sweet, light, indie pop-rock box throughout their lifetime; however, with two newly-released singles, “Hot Thoughts” and “Can I Sit Next to You,” we now see an expansion on the sound that makes Spoon their own entity — an experimental, albeit electronically experimental, elaboration that dives even deeper from the classic band setup, adding intense elements of synth and psych. Call it Spoon 10.0! It is the best of both worlds, bringing together the expected and unexpected.
Thanks to KCRW’s private sessions at Apogee Studios in Santa Monica, we were able to get a first look and listen at what Spoon’s 2017 lineup may have in store. The future is indeed bright. We got a taste of the new album, Hot Thoughts, during the first half of the band’s performance. During a short break, Anne Litt hosted an interview with the band’s frontman Britt Daniel. He and drummer Jim Eno are the only founding members still actively playing in the band. Though they are teased about being a married couple at this point, Daniel insists that the relationship is not that intense. He merely asserts that the two know each other well enough to know what the other one is thinking, but leaves it at that.
Certainly, the change in band members from year to year has affected Spoon’s sound expansion. Daniel acknowledged that a lot of the fresh vibes in Hot Thoughts can be attributed to newer bandmate Gerardo Larios and his mastery of the keys. He jokes that Larios’s role is that of “the sexy cabana boy.” Another new trick up Daniel’s sleeve is the brainpower behind shamelessly promoting this new music. The game-changer is the song premiere for “Can I Sit Next to You” via American Airlines. The band had already noticed that some older Spoon selections were used for airplane boarding music, so they took this idea to the next level, “subliminally” promoting their new song by adding it to that playlist. “Can I…” even made it to some department store playlists during Christmas season. The clever ruse left listeners mystified as the tracks had not yet been registered on the Shazam app, making it even harder to figure out what song or artist was being played. By the time a friend texted Daniel, asking about a song that sounded like a band trying to imitate Spoon, the jig was up and they officially released the single.
Hot Thoughts in full comes out on March 17th. At that time, Spoon will be in their hometown Austin, TX for SXSW. They are conducting the first ever SXSW residency at the old Eno’s location which is now known as The Main. Since they are the pioneers of this method, they take advantage of the allotted wiggle room and hand-pick all the artists to play their residency showcases. Tight-lipped Daniel does divulge one not-so-shocking surprise guest in the line-up — fellow Austin locals A Giant Dog, who toured with Daniel in 2012. The rest of the guests remain TBA. Spoon’s full-band performance from the night, plus the interview, will air on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on March 22nd.
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
I Saw the Light
I Ain’t the One*
[Interview hosted by Anne Litt]
Rent I Pay
Can I Sit Next to You*
My Mathematical Mind
*from new album Hot Thoughts
Photo Credit: Larry Hirshowitz