This week, RX Bandits will release their first new album in five years, Gemini, Her Majesty. In anticipation, it’s streaming in full below.
The follow-up to 2009’s Mandala was produced by Jason Cupp (Maps & Atlases, The Elected) at Prairie Sun Recording Studios in Sonoma County, CA.
According to frontman Matt Embree, the LP marks a new songwriting approach for the Orange County alt-rockers, who celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band next year.
“In the past, our aim was to bridge the gap between our recorded music and our live performance,” Embree notes in a press release. “But this time around we really didn’t ever consider that. We almost willingly ignored it. It was really nice to make a record that we didn’t apply live performance constraints to. That said, now we’re going to have the hefty task of figuring out how we want to arrange and play these new songs live. We love the challenge.”
In an interview with the OC Weekly, guitarist Steve Choi expanded upon the Bandits’ musical aim: “The main difference is that this time around, we didn’t write with being live in mind. Normally, we’re like, ‘Oh, we want this to sound live and roomy; we don’t really want to add too much so we can replicate it.’ . . . We threw all that out and were like, ‘Let’s just make the record however we want. Let’s add whatever we want; let’s go as big as we want to go.'”
Part of the approach was to utilize less rehearsal time and instead trust in each other’s abilities and their cohesiveness as a band. It’s a status that took time to re-build following the band’s one-year hiatus back in 2011.
“Usually, we’re really well-rehearsed and have most of our creative decisions made just because we’re tracking live,” Choi said. “Because of the amount of positivity and trust that we have in each other now, we’ll just make these decisions writing in the studio. In the past, that might have created conflict, but this time, we just let it be so there could be that kind of spontaneous element in the record. We’re closer now than we ever have been. I know that sounds cliché and cheesy, but the truth is that’s how it’s going for us right now.”
Pre-orders for the album are ongoing.
Gemini, Her Majesty Tracklist:
02. Ruby Cumulous
03. Wide Open
05. Fire To The Ocean
07. Will You Be Tomorrow
08. Meow! Meow! Space Tiger
10. Penguin Marlin Brando
11. Future, Buddy