Metronomy feature at #54 in The DIY List 2014, a look back at the year’s best albums, one-off shows, festival performances and achievements outside of the norm. This interview was originally published on DIY this March 2014.
Gazing out of his record label’s office window down onto an oddly sunlit Shoreditch street, Joseph Mount is giggling. Giggling hard. “When you’re doing a fourth album, there are clichéd things which you, like, have to do, or avoid doing, depending on your perspective,” he reflects on Metronomy’s new single, ‘Love Letters’, which is just about to be unveiled to the world. “One is adding horns, another is adding backing vocalists to make you sound better. And I got them both.”
The biggest shock is when a trumpet solo enters the fray courtesy of Parisian jazz musician Airelle Besson. “It’s funny because originally there were a lot of horns over ‘Love Letters’,” he reveals. “There were horns in the main part of the song, but in the end it was like, this feels too kind of, this feels too far. But like, to do a song with a Motowny rhythm like that seemed kind of, ‘Why would I do that?’ But then I ended up thinking, ‘Why wouldn’t I do that?’ A trumpet solo seemed perfectly normal.”
As all four of their albums (and the contrasts between them) show, Metronomy are constantly changing, nay radicalising their sound. This time, they’ve metamorphosed from the massively accessible synth-pop act we all knew from ‘The Look’ and ‘The Bay’ into a brilliantly weird, 60s-influenced funk-psych crossbreed. The outcome is the band’s career-high masterstroke, and it features some of the bravest tunes they’ve ever cut. “It’s one of those things that if you like us as a band and if you like the music, then part of what you like is the fact that it’s not predictable and that it’s not supposed to be predictable.”