"We wanted to write more dynamic songs and push ourselves to do something different" - Moaning discuss new album Uneasy Laughter
Slacker pop trio Moaning unveiled their new album, Uneasy Laughter, earlier this month.
Produced by At The Drive-In and Bloc Party knob-twiddler Alex Newport, the album finds the threesome in excellent form, with their trademark fuzzed-up guitars and wistful pop melodies.
We spoke to vocalist Sean Solomon about making the record and his personal journey during that process...
When did you start working on the songs for Uneasy Laughter?
"We started writing the songs a couple of years ago. It’s been exciting to see how they’ve evolved. I will sometimes find weird demos on my phone that sound completely different."
Do you write on tour or do you need to be at home and decompressed?
"I like to be alone when I write melodies because it can be pretty embarrassing! Sometimes we write music on our laptops on tour but not as often. I have a practice space at my house and most of the songs were written there."
How did you want the songs to move on from what you did on your self-titled record?
"We wanted to write more dynamic songs and push ourselves to do something different. We wanted it to feel like a full album you listen to from beginning to end."
You worked with Alex Newport again, why did you decide to continue working with him?
"He is our friend and we really enjoy working with him! It’s a lot of fun. He’s almost like a fourth member of the band."
What does he give you as a producer?
"He has a lot of great ideas. We did a lot of experimental things like cutting up recorded drum parts into samplers and feeding feedback into synthesisers. Stuff I never would have thought to do..."
It’s a 13-track record. How many songs did you have to choose from before settling on the final 13?
"We wrote probably 20 songs. There are one or two demos floating around that I would maybe want to release one day."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"A lot of the lyrics are about changing for the better. I’ve been trying to be critical of myself and progress in a positive way. I wrote the songs before and after getting sober for the first time."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"'Running' went through a lot of different changes. It started out slow and sort of boring. Now it’s pretty upbeat and heavy. It’s one of my favourites now."
And which came together most quickly?
"'Make It Stop' was a quick one. It started from a demo that Pascal (Stevenson, bassist) brought in. I feel like we finished it in a few days."
When did you decide on Uneasy Laughter for the album title? Were any other titles in contention?
"I have a list on my phone. They all were terrible. Uneasy Laughter was always my favourite, but I got self-conscious of it because Alex Newport said he didn’t like it. After I saw the painting that Aaron Jupin made, I knew I wanted it to be the cover and to name it that. I think it really sums up the whole record."
What are your plans to take the album out live? Coronavirus permitting…
"Once this nightmare is over, we’re going to tour the whole world..."