Three albums in and Metronomy, the electro-pop quartet based in Brighton, England, are only now getting name recognition in the U.S. and in their native country. The second part is especially odd, because earlier this year they received a Mercury Prize nomination (the U.K. equivalent to a Grammy) for their latest album, “The English Riviera.” But frontman and Metronomy mastermind Joseph Mount is philosophical about the newfound fame.
“Certainly with the English music press, you sometimes need to prove your worth,” he says. “Some bands get this massive hype from the beginning, and then other bands just have to stick at it until people realize you’re not going to just disappear. I guess it just feels like it’s the right time for people to feel like they can get behind it a bit more.”
All the adoration may also be due to the fact that Mount and his bandmates have put together a palatable pop album that fuses Metronomy’s characteristically clicky synths with danceable beats and singable melodies. Mount is a natural tinkerer, having made the band’s last two albums largely on his own.
“They were all home recorded,” he says of the first two albums, “I just thought at that point maybe it would’ve been a strange decision to keep making it that way,” he says, adding that two new bandmates also allowed for an expansion of range.
“You go on the stage and you’re kind of aware of what kinds of songs you could add to the set to make it a bit more dynamic,” Mount says. “But when it comes down to it, I’m kind of stuck in this way of writing since the beginning — which is just like, sitting down alone in a room with a computer.”
Mount discussed with us his opinion on how U.K. radio stations determine the success of bands.
“There’s this radio station in England, BBC Radio One, that has this iron grip on the success of bands. 6 Music started as this alternative to Radio One, but after a while it ended up being the same … where it’s in charge of breaking bands and if you are on 6 Music, then you are more likely to get on Radio One. They’ve got playlists like Radio One. … So they get behind new bands. … It’s all corrupt.”