Spoon Shows You Can Always Go Home Again on New Single "The Hardest Cut" (KEXP Premiere)

Interviews, KEXP Premiere
Janice Headley
photo by Oliver Halfin

Long-running rock band Spoon have announced their tenth album, titled Lucifer on the Sofa, will be released on February 11th via Matador Records. Today, KEXP's premiering the first single "The Hardest Cut," described to KEXP by co-founder and frontman Britt Daniel as "kind-of a highway rock, boogie kind of song, which we've never done before."

The new full-length finds the guys recording in their hometown of Austin, TX, for the first time in more than a decade. Both Daniel and keyboardist/guitarist Alex Fischel moved back to the city, collaborating on this track almost immediately. (“I spent a lot of 2018 and 2019 listening to ZZ Top,” Daniel explains in a press release.)

If you can't wait to hear more from the upcoming release, tune in tonight for a catalog-spanning virtual concert titled Back To Life // Live From Los Angeles, directed by Andreas Neumann from the Teragram in Los Angeles. Check out the trailer below, and then get your ticket here. Join Lucifer on the couch, and enjoy the show from your living room. 

Check out the new song below, along with a short chat with Daniel. Welcome back, boys. We can't wait for DJ Cheryl Waters to play this twice in a row on The Midday Show.

KEXP: So, what inspired a highway boogie kind of song? 

Britt Daniel: Maybe it was traveling. I moved back to Texas around September of 2019 and Alex moved here the next month. Maybe it was that that long drive. We both drove from California. And this is the first song we wrote once we got back. 

How did Spoon go about recording a new song during the pandemic? 

Some of the songs on the record were done pre-pandemic, like this one was pre-pandemic, but we weren't done. We planned to get together in July when things seemed like they were going to chill out, in July of 2020. And then we got about a week away from getting together and it got canceled. And then we're supposed to get together in September, and the engineer had a false positive test, and so it just kept getting delayed, but eventually we got together in October of last year and started working. Got back in earnest on working on new songs. 

So, the batch of songs that were written before the pandemic, do they feel different now after the pandemic? 

Yeah, there's a few that were written post-lockdown and/or during the lockdown and I guess you could say that at least one of them I wouldn't have ever would have come up with otherwise, had it not been the lockdown. But for the most part, it's a pretty lively record. It's a rock record. It sounds like a band playing in the room together. It's a pretty good times kind of record, honestly. 

Does it feel nice to get home and go back to your roots a little? 

Yeah, it does. I mean, you know, I've always come back to Texas. My family lives here. I was born and raised here. In some ways, Texas is nuttier and nuttier, and there's things about it that are infuriating, but there's a lot of great things about being here during the fall and being here during the winter. It's a beautiful stretch of land, this state. And there's a lot of great food and a lot of great people here. 

Definitely true. I was raised in Fort Worth, and I'm actually going to go back to Texas in a week or so to see my Mom. So I hear you completely when you're talking about it, just, you know, a very unique place. 

Yeah, it really is. If you're standing outside it, you might have a single impression of it, but there really is a lot to it. 

Yeah, totally. So earlier this year, you guys released the 20th anniversary edition of Girls Can Tell. Looking back at that release, what are some of the ways that you could see you had grown since then? 

Well, I hadn't heard that record in a long time, and I listened to it all the way through when we were when we were plotting our Greatest Hits record. I listened to all the records all the way through, and I think the one that made the biggest impression on me was Girls Can Tell. It's not a super high-fi record. It's not fully rounded out or softened up at all. It's really kind of a scrappy little record. You can tell we had zero budget. We could get into a recording studio for a couple of days. It sounds like that kind of record that that was just scraped together, you know, and I love it for that. I think the songs are pretty great. I don't know. I have good feelings about that one. 

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