Spoon’s back and in the Austin, Texas spirit of keeping things weird, the boys’ new record succeeds in doing just that.
Freer and funkier than ever before, the career band’s ninth record lets loose. Indie rock’s post-punk favorite has returned with their maximalist debut Hot Thoughts, their ninth plunge deep into the depths of experimental rock.
HOT THOUGHTS IS DARING.
SPOON KNOWS HOW TO SWIM.
In the record’s self-titled debut track the groups explores its new dimension of sound.
The tune is Spoon’s first after two years. Their last release was They Want My Soul in 2014. The group not only sounds refreshed and free on the new record, but has obviously taken the sonic expansion of their sound serious in all senses of the phrase.
Hot Thoughts not only pays its dues to that of electronic, hip-hop, and jazz music alike, the record is moody as shit.
As Spoon has established themselves as a formulaic indie rock group over the years they seem to have picked up where they left off on their last record They Want My Soul. Although this time with a different pace, one to be semi-expected.
In a recent interview with Consequence of Sound, frontman Britt Daniel broke down Spoon’s entire discography and said the following about the record,
“I’ve been doing this a long time.
I KNOW WHEN SOMETHING FEELS RIGHT TO ME.
That’s probably what makes every artist different, is what they feel to be good. Or god help you if you’re an artist who puts out something that you’re not really sure if it’s good. I would never do that. I think I would be surprised if we were sitting on the release date of our first record and somehow somebody played me this album. I would be very surprised. But sitting where I am now, it feels very natural.
IT SEEMS LIKE WHERE WE’VE BEEN MEANING TO GO.
I’ve never been able to figure out how some things that I do capture the imagination of more people than others. It’s hard for me to know when that’s going to happen.”
Every released record from the group’s beginning was built around one or two chords. And with no disrespect, Spoon has always been solid. But it’s fair to say they have been a minimalistic group in their core until now. Throw in a couple of funky tunes here and there, ones like The Underdog, alongside no doubt hits like Inside Out and you had a record. They’ve inarguably released nothing but great records with inconspicuously catchy tunes every couple years since the nineties, but Hot Thoughts is the group’s serious gift. In their roughly 24 years as a band, the new record is a marvelous achievement.
Spoon’s catchy and easily applicable surface level, sometimes lovey dovey lyrics have undoubtedly pleased indie rockers over the years, and we’re thankful for the brilliance that is frontman Britt Daniel, but Hot Thoughts takes its listeners somewhere new.
The record not only sounds heavier, but does so in the most well texturized version possible. Through the use of tempo changes, piano meltdowns, and diverse instrumental choices, alongside a goddamn five minute lay down of pure instrumental jazz on Us, the tracks come without any repetition, sure to please any listener.
Spoon’s willingness to experiment and continue to morph their sound is precisely what indie rock, whatever the hell that is these days anyways, needs right now, and more than ever. We needed it back when Arcade Fire did it and we certainly need it today.
Indie rockers could learn a lot from Spoon. Here’s to them, and most importantly for showing music what it means to be experimental even after 24 years.
Here’s to hoping others continue to delve into the unknown waters.
Hot Thoughts Tracklist:
01. Hot Thoughts
03. Do I Have to Talk You Into It
04. First Caress
05. Pink Up
06. Can I Sit Next to You
07. I Ain’t the One
08. Tear It Down
03/14-16 – Austin, TX @ The Main (SXSW)
03/23 – Sydney, AU @ Metro Theatre
03/25 – Thornbury, AU @ The Croxton Bandroom
04/27 – Mobile, AL @ Soul Kitchen
04/28 – Oxford, MS @ The Lyric
04/29 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
05/01 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
05/02 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
05/03 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theater
05/05 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
05/07 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
05/09 – Knoxville, TN @ The Mill & Mine
05/11 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
06/17 – Berlin, DE @ Festaal Kreuzberg
06/18 – Mannheim, DE @ Maifeld Derby Festival
06/19 – Munich, DE @ Technikum
06/27 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
06/28 – Glasgow, UK @ The Arts School
06/30 – London, UK @ O2 Forum
07/07 – Madrid, ES @ Mad Cool Festival
07/08 – Lisbon, PT @ NOS Alive Festival
07/14 – Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Festival
07/15 – Birmingham, AL @ Sloss Festival
07/28 – New York, NY @ Panorama Festival
07/30 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion ^*
08/06 – Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Bowl ^
08/08 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen
08/09 – Bellvue, CO @ Mishawaka Amphitheatre
^ = w/ Belle & Sebastian
* = w/ Andrew Bird