YEAH!!!!!!! The band that all other alternative, glittering guitar based bands are compared to dropped a new album, Better Nature, on September 25, 2015, and all I can say is, it’s about time. Silversun Pickups have everything a great band needs: beautiful vocals, glittering guitars, driving bass and production, hooks galore, and a production that enhances rather than hides the talent and the beauty of each song. Silversun Pickups took up the production of this album (the first since 2012) themselves, and have shown themselves to be pros. Funny but no matter how successful the Pickups become (if they don’t mind me calling them that), they still remain independent sounding. As I said earlier, if I need to a comparison, Silversun Pickups are the band. And the fact that they named themselves after the beer drivethru across the street from the bar they considered their home for a long while.
Made up of Brian Aubert (guitar, vocals), Nikki Monninger (bass),
Joe Lester (keyboards), and Christopher Guanlao (drums), Silversun Pickups have always been different. Describing the recording process of this album, Brian Aubert (guitar, vocals) said:
Where NECK OF THE WOODS was “purposely nostalgic,” BETTER NATURE was designed as a snapshot of Silversun Pickups smack dab at this particular moment in time.
“This all felt very current,” Aubert says. “Very right now. Everything is super-happening. We’ve been doing this awhile now and this time I wanted us to really enjoy the process, to just laugh about it, to really feel…oozy. I just wanted it to come out, without thinking about it. I just wanted to exist.”
Silversun Pickups maintained a similarly Zen approach to the sessions themselves. The band had heretofore rehearsed new songs to perfection before getting near the studio, allaying their own jitters by locking everything into muscle memory before the record button was pushed. This time, that sort of safety net was off the table.
“We never played these songs straight through, all together,” Aubert says, “but it’s even more organic in a way, because we were all creating it together. How these songs come to be is in our hands. We have the bone, how do we put some meat on this thing?”
The sessions were unstructured by design, which isn’t to say the band didn’t apply considerable forethought to the process. Aubert cites influences on the album spanning Sparklehorse to NPR’s much beloved Radiolab, the band’s goal up front to create “a non-existent thing that sounds like it really exists.”
“We wanted it to be big and bombastic,” Aubert says. “We wanted there to be weird moments – Double time! Bar chords! Screaming! Monkey sounds! The guitars were going to be swelling again, there were going to be loud solos. Things needed to be coming at you.”
I know that I’m am super happy Silversun Pickups have released a new album. They really are the BEST at what they do.