Last month I went to Atlanta to spend a few days with the venerated emo band Manchester Orchestra ahead of the release of their latest album, A Black Mile To The Surface, due out July 28. Here’s what I wrote about the record:
The hardest thing about making a mature masterwork that reinvigorates your sound and approach to art is that there is no instruction manual on how to do it. A lot of trial and error is required. For Manchester Orchestra, this would involve working in several different recording studios with a small battery of well-known indie-rock producers, including Catherine Marks (The Killers, PJ Harvey), John Congleton (St. Vincent, Sleater Kinney) and Jonathan Wilson (Father John Misty, Dawes), as well as long-time collaborator Dan Hannon. Along the way, the band doubted itself constantly. When the smoke cleared, however, they somehow emerged with their best album, conjuring the grandiosity of albums like 2009’s Mean Everything To Nothing and 2011’s Simple Math, but with half the strain and twice as much as grace.
I had such a good time hanging out with Manchester Orchestra’s frontman Andy Hull that I decided to invite him on my podcast. Thankfully, Andy agreed to come on, and we had a great conversation about his career, which started back in his teens, and why he felt he had to reinvent Manchester Orchestra on the band’s latest record.
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