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meandering, off-time melody that contributes an addictive uncertainty to the song. It’s this slight butterfly-stomach tension that keeps the music potent and interesting. It’s also worth noting that the record also sounds surprisingly sparse, Joe explains why. “It’s not something I really used to do but I’ve begun to (relying on only a few sounds and instruments) because it can really change the song you come up with. Some tracks were entirely written on a keyboard, some on the guitar and I suppose now I’m becoming to realise that working like that can help

“You have this way of life in Devon that is very slow, people just hang out in fields and throw parties and have quite a relaxed way of life living by the sea.”

very lush sort of music,” explains Joe. “In that way, it was obviously a little nod to that style of recording and that sound but I don’t think it sounds like a pastiche.” While you could say the warmth of some of the tones and melodies on the record, with the sounds of waves lapping opening proceedings, might hark back to that, the record is far too English to remind us of Californian beaches. It’s as far from a pastiche as it’s possible to get. “As long as people don’t think you’ve ripped off a song or gone over old

ground, it can be quite forward-thinking. Or at least, I hope so.” Joe’s first two records as Metronomy, were entirely home-made efforts.

2006’s Pip Paine (Pay Me The £5000 You Owe), containing the popular indie dancefloor hit You Could Easily Have Me, committed a plethora of guitar riffs and layered electronic noises to tape but caused problems when it came to interpreting the songs live. The follow-up, Nights Out (2008), was a swirling, woozy treatise on the disappointment of a fun evening gone awry. The downbeat mood was matched by a unique swaying, drunken feel that occasionally pops up on the new album. For instance, Love Underlined has a

produce something that you wouldn’t do normally.” An unconventional songwriter, Joe feels that much of Metronomy’s unique sound is due to his method of recording as he goes along. “I don’t really remember stuff that well. Probably more traditional musicians can remember stuff but I certainly do need something to record with and I suppose it’s a very modern way of doing it.” He also mentions that it helps when he “hired in a few different synthesisers” because when you pick up something with a new sound, “you can often get a song just from that excitement. I think I need a steady stream of things. To begin with I was just content with a Yamaha PF80, one of those real crappy keyboards. But now it has to be a synthesiser. The one I use the most is a Roland Juno – the older analogue version, not the new one. You can manipulate it quite easily and you can make drum or bass sounds with it. It’s versatile, which is key.” The main difference between the Mercury Prize nominated album and

Metronomy’s last two efforts then is probably the fact that this is the first time Joe, and his bandmates old and new, have recorded in a studio. As the band has become more of a core for Metronomy – with Oscar Cash providing


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