Dieser Tage erscheint Portraits – das Debütalbum des englischen Elektronik-Duos MARIBOU STATE. Exklusiv für Popmonitor hat LIAM IVORY die zehn Titel der Platte kommentiert…
This was an intro track we cut off which is why it’s the opener now. It’s almost like a roadmap to the rest of the album. It has a little bit of everything in it and represents the different kind of sounds that we go through on the album. It’s one of our favourites. We like it because it’s summery. It doesn’t rush but still it’s danceable. I guess you can say that about the whole album. That wasn’t intentional. It just came out that way.
We did that one with our friend Pedestrian. We worked very closely on almost everything. We just met on Soundcloud because we had a similar taste in music and became really close friends. Jack did the lyrics for it and helped producing it as well. It’s kind of a joined effort.
We actually started this one with Jack as well and then ended up finishing it on our own. We were really inspired by Caribou. All summer long we heard “Can’t Do Without You” so this was a bit of a reaction to that. Also we bought a new keyboard for the studio, a Dave Smoth prophet, and it had like a pre-sound on it. We were just trying around with this new keyboard and used it on every song. The vocal that runs through it is Jack as well. What we did was we recored his vocals and recorded noise and stuff to make him sound sampled.
It’s one of my favourites! We worked with Holly before on our EP and became really close friends. It all went really well but we didn’t make any more music together after that first EP. When it was time to write the album, she was like an obvious choice. She wrote all the lyrics and we helped her with the melodies. The timings are weird. Each bar is like a three and a half beats long instead of the usual four beats. I like that!
We finished writing the album about four or fives months before we were supposed to hand the album in. The label gave us a deadline and we were just tightening up the demos to make them sound better – just re-recording bits. Then the label said: „Why don’t you just sit down and write one more thing just to see what happens!?“. We really didn’t want to do it because we finished the album. We were happy to not be writing anymore because it took us a year and we were just starting to think about the live band. But then we went back to the studio and we made “Wallflower” in two days and ended up loving it.
That’s a track we originally wrote with a B.B. King sample on it. For obvious reasons we couldn’t use it because we wouldn’t be aloud. At the same kind of time we were talking to the label about a possibility if working with Jono McCleery because he’s also on Counter Records. We’ve been big fans of his music for long time. We ended up sending him the track without the sample on it and he really liked it and he delivered it back with an amazing vocal. He sent a video as well. The vocal you hear on that track is done in one take. It’s perfect in my opinion. He’s incredibly talented.
It feels like a long time ago we wrote that. It’s one of the first ones we did and we were really excited beginning it because to us it sounds really unique. It came together really quickly. For a very long time the strings weren’t on the track. We kind of added that in. I think that’s when we decided to put in on the album.
Me and Chris wrote the backing track for that. I think quite early on we knew that we would have Holly singing on it. She did most of the vocals and lyrics. We actually struggled with „Midas“ a very long time to make the vocals sit well on the track. We just couldn‘t get it to work in terms of the mix. Holly re-recorded it a few times. We ended up with a Neumann U87, which is like a really expensive microphone. Holly re-recorded the vocals with this and then she loved it so much that she re-recorded the vocals for “Steal” and all the other tracks she was on as well. There’s a lot of stuff on the record like little breaths and most of that is Holly as well. We used all the off-cuts of her recordings and used that for the other tracks instead of sampling. She’s kind of scattered across the whole album.
That’s kind of an old Ninja Tune record. It’s got influences from Hint and Bonobo and the guys like that we really loved and still do love. That’s kind of a thing that Chris started. It’s like a jam.
It’s a place in India that Chris visited. It was the first thing he ever wrote on guitar when he was younger. We were in the studio, just playing around with it, and then we really liked it. It’s recorded in one take. I was like playing the piano while he did the chords and we just tracked the whole thing down. It was a happy accident. After that we just added a few vocal snippets and some extra kind of percussions. There was a sample in there first from somebody in India playing Jimi Hendrix on his guitar. Chris recorded it ands it’s just why we were starting to work on that track.
(Counter Records / Ninja Tune / Rough Trade)