The members of the Los Angeles-based electro trio Autolux took a traditional approach when it came to assembling the songs on their new album Pussy’s Dead
, which is produced by BOOTS (Beyoncé, Run the Jewels). They paid careful attention to sequencing and enlisted Aussie artist Anthony Lister to make sure the album cover art matched the music. “Soft Scene,” a song that pairs Portishead-like trip-hop with noisy guitars and metallic-sounding percussion while “Change My Head” mixes Beatles harmonies with Nirvana-inspired vocals. The tunes suggest the group’s singular approach. The album marks the first disc to arrive on the new imprint run by uber-producer Danger Mouse.
While Danger Mouse wasn't familar with the band, which formed in 2001 in Los Angeles, his engineer was. When he played Danger Mouse some tracks from Pussy's Dead
, Danger Mouse immediately wanted to hear the entire album.
"We played him the whole album and we all sat there quietly and he turned around and said he wanted us to be the first signing," says drummer Carla Azar via phone. "He didn’t need to listen more than once. It was that simple."
The album had a particularly long gestation period. After 2010's Transit Transit
, Azar worked with singer-guitarist Jack White, recording on his album Blunderbuss and touring with him in 2012.
"In between touring, we wrote a bit that year," says Azar. "After the tour, I did a film for a couple of months. It was something I couldn’t turn down. Most of the writing occurred during 2013 and there are a few older songs but most happened during that time. We just picked the best material. We didn’t have a plan for the style or direction. We just wrote and were in the moment. Whatever songs seemed to fit on the record, we just chose those."
If the past is any indication, the band will release another album in six years. Azar says she hopes the new album's momentum will motivate the band to return to the studio in a more timely manner.
"It’s not a plan to release an album every six years," she says. "If I hadn’t toured with Jack White, the record would have come out a few years ago, but at the same time BOOTS wouldn’t have produced it because we didn’t know him then. I think now that we have someone we can work quickly and who’s very organized, I think thing swill go faster in the future. Just today, we started talking about the next album. We want to be ahead this time."
Autolux, Eureka The Butcher, Nights, 9 p.m. Friday, April 8, Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588. Tickets: $12 ADV, $15 DOS, grogshop.gs.