We speak to the mastermind behind Metronomy to find out more about the band's sixth album and their musical evolution
'I like to describe my stuff as "electro pop" and I quite like how lame it sounds,' laughs Joe Mount, the mastermind behind Metronomy. It's hard to argue with his description, with Metronomy having evolved from a bedroom project into a gorgeous, swooning pop group.
After releasing a handful of, essentially solo, electronic albums, the turning point was 2011's English Riviera, a lush exercise in amalgamating house, 70s rock, funk, soul and lounge music. It marked a new chapter in Metronomy's evolution. Despite his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and producer, Mount found he needed a full band to bring his ambitions to life, adding regular musicians Oscar Cash (saxophone / guitars / keyboards), Anna Prior (drums / vocals), Olugbenga Adelekan (bass) and Michael Lovett (keyboards / guitars) to the ranks.
It's a swelteringly hot day in August when we speak, Metronomy's sixth album, Metronomy Forever, hasn't hit the shops yet and Mount is savouring the time between completion and release: 'The more you release music, the more you mature in terms of your relationship between yourself and each record. Releasing the record is when it starts to be judged, whether critics like it or it does well commercially – it's a very different thing, it becomes a product. So your relationship [with the record] does change. Now it feels like mine, because no one has heard it or had a chance to misunderstand it, once it's released it belongs to the world … if they want it.'
Metronomy Forever follows a similar pattern set out on previous albums, drawing on retro influences yet sounding deliciously fresh. At 17 tracks, it represents Metronomy's longest album to date, flitting between blatant pop songs like 'Salted Caramel Ice Cream', alongside instrumental digressions, the thrumming guitars of 'Lately' and playful electronica such as 'Lying Low'.
'I think it's an evolution of me as an artist. It takes all the previous albums and draws all that stuff I've learnt and puts all that experience together and makes something new out of it,' says Mount. 'It's the first time I've released a record in a long time that I think isn't about anything other than me. I think it's about me understanding my relationship with music in a way, and what got me to where I am now. When I was young, I was completely obsessed with music and that's what it feels like it [Metronomy Forever] is about.'
Mount admits there's always a learning curve for the band and the audience when it comes to new music and it can take time for songs to embed themselves in people's minds. 'There's always a trepidation in playing new music live, even if you are playing it to your biggest fans in the world. Have you ever seen Back to the Future? There's this bit where he [Micheal J Fox's character Marty McFly] plays "Johnny B Goode" in front of the school and he says something like "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it." Sometimes it feels like you are playing a really good song but also knowing no one has ever heard it before.'
However, he's still itching to get out of the studio and back on the road. 'I do really love recording. I love that process but it's quite isolated and solitary for me,' explains Mount. 'I definitely get pleasure from performing live, working with four other people on stage. Even if the setlist is the same, the performance is never the same. We really love playing with each other and we really love the idea of putting on a show. I feel you need to be a gang to seriously enjoy that.'
Metronomy, SWG3, Glasgow, Wed 13 Nov, and touring.
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