Adelyn Rose recently released their second full length album, Ordinary Fantasy. This power house of an indie pop album rewards the repeat listener. Don’t be fooled by the pretty pop package these songs come in; the album digs its claws into listeners and brings them into a tumultuous world of raw guitar licks and dissonant soundscapes. Songs like “Even” exemplify this by taking you on a journey from its depths of moody drones and noisy drums to euphoric synth lines and elegant vocal melodies. I talked to the band’s percussionist Dave Power to get insights into the process behind what will surely be a seminal release in the band’s career.
Listen here as you read and grab a free download of the song “Let the Right One In” while you are at it.
It took around two years to make this album; some of these songs were even partially written by former members of the band, how did this affect the development of the album/songs?
DP: We kept certain parts that were written by previous members, and other parts naturally evolved into something different, being played by the current members of the band. Just like with a lot of songwriting, certain songs definitely evolved quite a bit from their starting position, since there were at least two years between the writing and recording (of the "older" songs).
What is the band’s song writing process like and where do you fit in to that?
DP: Almost all of the songs are written by Addie (the band’s namesake and front-woman) initially, with arrangements finalized by the full band after practicing them several times. Addie definitely writes the firm backbone of the songs, and we just fill in our own parts. Sometimes our parts change the original songs more than initially intended, hopefully for the better. 😉
On Ordinary Fantasy there is a stylistic shift away from the singer-song writer feel of the earlier work. Was this a conscious decision? What influenced this change?
DP: The change from "singer-songwriter" to more of an "indie pop" sound was not intentional and was most likely a product of the added synth and Wurlitzer parts, as well as my more original drum parts (as in playing to my own sound more than trying to fit underneath the older, folkier songs). Jaime Hansen also added a much different, darker sound on guitar.
This album sounds and looks like a “big deal” album, having done multiple tours around the US already, where do you hope this album takes you?
DP: We hope to get on a label with this album, and have started shopping it to labels. We plan on doing an east coast tour to promote it. An ideal situation would to be to re-release it on a label.
What was it like recording at April Base (Justin Vernon’s personal studio)?
DP: Recording at April Base is great, the best things being the vast array of recording equipment and instruments, and the super relaxed, homey atmosphere. I mean, it's a house, not a freezing, air conditioned hospital-clean studio on a busy city street. The next best thing is being able to bring an excellent chef/friend, my favorite being the multiple instrumentalist/chef, Matt Florence. One word – chicken carbonara. Two words.
Jamie Hansen is an engineer as well as a musician on the album, how do you think this impacted the sounds of the album?
DP: Having Jaime record on the album added a darker vibe to the songs and filled in the space with a lot of great ambient sound. He's sort of our "sound effects" guy. "Knifey bird sounds," as he describes them. As engineer, he gives the album a fuller, raw, rock feel, rather than a super polished, shiny production style.
As a drummer myself I can almost instantly recognize when Dave Power is at the kit, your style of play is unique and often intense. Where do you draw inspiration?
DP: As far as drumming, I draw inspiration from all of the music I listen to (obviously). Some of my favorite drummers are Dave King from The Bad Plus, Jon Theodore from The Mars Volta, and all of the drumming on the album Voodoo, by D'Angelo.
In your free time you experiment with live recorded drum loops/sampling as White Dunes, what impact did this have on the album?
DP: As far as White Dune stuff, I didn't start that until after we finished recording the album. Have been doing some collaboration with Jaime Hansen lately; some electronic drum stuff in Garage Band, sending stuff back and forth. Might do more drum edits with chopping and looping beats on the next album, who knows.
Upcoming Adelyn Rose events:
March 21st at House Of Rock in Eau Claire with Rivers, and Cult & Leper.
March 22nd at The Nomad in Minneapolis with J.E. Sunde (of Daredevil Christopher Wright), Cult & Leper, and All Eyes
PS: Cult and Leper are a fantastic Boston-based group of musical genius weirdos. Check them out right now.