These New Puritans, the four-piece art-rock band from Southend-on-Sea, England, released their new album 'Field Of Reeds' (via Infectious/PIAS America) last week, along with a stunning video for 'V (Island Song).' Recently, frontman Jack Barnett stopped by the Red Bull Music Academy Radio studio to talk about their music and influences. During the audio interview, Barnett plays an obscure electronic song he wrote as a teenager. He also revealed a few other interesting tidbits, which we'll condense nicely for you:
On the origins of the band: "The beginning of the story really is me writing music when I was younger. I got guitar lessons when I was 7 or 8 years old. I would write songs, basically. Eventually, my older brother gave me a tape recorder. And I started recording. I must've been 10. So that's really how the band grew out of. And [my brother] George started playing drums with me."
On their hometown, Southend-on-Sea, England: "There was a little scene going on there, and at the time, you sort of take it for granted. It's only in retrospect that you realize that it's sort of special. You assumed everywhere has something like that. Then you go and you play on your first tour, and we're playing Chinese restaurants in Middlesbrough or something like that."
On Graham Sutton, who produced 'Field of Reeds' with Barnett: "He was just suggested by Laurence Bell from Domino Records. I didn't know anything about him. I just went and met him for a beer before the second album. Yeah, we got on quite well. I think really, you can't underestimate how important just a sense of humor -- things like that -- is. They are more important than musical ability a lot of the time, to make something good. A mutual love of Steely Dan."
On 'Field Of Reeds': "Elisa Rodrigues sings on the new album. I knew it had to be sort of a female perspective on the album. I had written lines mostly not for my own voice. I needed a female voice. And dial-up between a male voice and a female voice is very important. It was just a matter of trying to find someone. I narrowed it down purely based on sounds of voices I liked. Not a massive fan of Scandanavian voices. They can sound a little bit twee. French, not really. I worked my way down, sort of got to Iberia. And Portugal, I really do like the sound of the language... And I like some Portuguese music as well. And so I stumbled across Elisa, who is just an incredible singer... She sings live with us now. And it's great. I can do half the work."
These New Puritans are currently on tour in Europe. Check out dates below.
Nov. 11 - Toulouse, France, Les Inrocks @ Bikini
Nov. 12 - Bologna, Italy, Locomotiv
Nov. 14 - Berlin, Lido
Nov. 15 - Enschede, Netherlands, Crossing Border Festival
Nov. 16 - The Hague, Netherlands, Crossing Border Festival
Nov. 17 - Antwerp, Belgium, Crossing Border Festival
Nov. 19 - Frankfurt, Germany, Mousonturm
Nov. 20 - Prague, Meet Factory
Nov. 23 - Bilbao, Spain, BIME, Bilbao Exhibition Centre
Nov. 24 - Barcelona, Razzmatazz 2
Nov. 26 - Porto, Portugal, Porto Hard Club
Nov. 27 - Lisbon, Tmn Ao Vivo
Dec. 7 - Mexico City, Plaza Condesa
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