They say the human body is DNA-programmed to renew itself every seven years. In which case, White Denimʼs now legendary, heart-attack musical timing has accelerated their own development – and then some. Five years on from their
twisted translation of the garage-rock aesthetic via Workout Holiday, new album Corsicana Lemonade announces itself less noisily and demandingly, while commanding just as much attention.
If their UK debut was the sound of a way-cool keg party, then as singersongwriter and guitarist James Petralli sees it, their latest is “a barbeque record, essentially”. Here, then, are summery grooves with a country-funk/boogie-soul bent (ʻCome Backʼ, ʻA Place To Startʼ), classic pop-rock moves from the ʼ70s (ʻCheer Up Blues Endingʼ, ʻAt Night In Dreamsʼ) and riff-centric, dirty blues (ʻLet It Feel Good (My Eagles)ʼ, ʻPretty Greenʼ). White Denimʼs frenetic workouts still feature – after all, this is the band that have always boasted serious chops – but theyʼre far less extended and frequent, designed to complement the newfound laid-back ease, rather than hog the spotlight.
Petralli concedes that the bandʼs aim was to pull back from the complex and considered song structures that took their cues from prog and jazz, and instead make a record that was closer to the White Denim live experience. In other words,
tap into the quartetʼs holy-rolling momentum and exhilarating, in-the-moment energy. “Initially, we did start by recording a bunch of rockist numbers, but we got kind of fatigued with it. I think we felt that we wanted to say something else, and our ears got tired of hearing really aggressive music and trying to work it into something.
“About eight months after D came out, we realised we didnʼt want to play triplets on everything. We didnʼt want to make it so difficult for ourselves and, possibly too, our audience. So we talked about scaling back a little bit, by featuring the
songs more. We really just wanted to say something new. The biggest thing was to set up and play together in a room, to try and get the sound of the band playing live together.”
With that in mind, Petralli, Austin Jenkins (guitar), Steve Terebecki (bass) and Joshua Block (drums) took up a longstanding invitation. In January of 2012 theyʼd
toured with Wilco and afterward, Jeff Tweedy joked – or so they thought – that someday they should record together at the bandʼs Loft Studio. Petralli remembers thinking it was a courtesy comment, but then this year Tweedy called to say that he had a five-day window, and wanted White Denim to go in and cut some tracks. So in late March of 2013, Petralli wrote a couple of songs at short notice and they headed to Chicago, which is where the all-important loosening up
This event is 21 and over
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Event Category: Live Music
When: October 16, 2013
Where: Mercury Lounge
More Info: www.mercuryloungenyc.com