When The Weeks alt-rocking fivesome reconvened to conceive a new album following a short hiatus after their 2018 tour, they resolved to ditch their customary studio method. Instead of starting with a score of song ideas, the boys wrote and tracked all 10 songs concurrently, building the project from scratch, live in their recording booths. The resulting LP, Two Moons, is slated to release on September 6 via the quintet’s owned label, Crooked Letter. The band will play a set at The Cowan tomorrow, Aug. 8 at 7p.m.
“We write pretty quick together,” guitarist Samuel Williams says. “It’s a little telepathic and creepy, to be honest with you. But we’ve never played to that strength in the studio, just in the writing room. So taking that to the studio … if we hit a lick, we’d have a song in four minutes. As long as it took to play it, it was done.”
Williams distinguishes Two Moons from his band’s previous four albums by its way of delivering what he calls a “snapshot of the studio.” In other words, because they were recorded just after being written, the tracks contain the fresh, unstinting passion of brand new creations. The LP’s title track, a dark, catchy dance rock singalong, is a perfect example of the project’s piecemeal writing process. Frontman/primary songwriter Cyle Barns came into the studio with the first line of the chorus, and the band built around it, adding element after element.
“It’s that phrase, ‘studio magic,’” Williams says. “We were trying to put ourselves in that scenario of being creative on the spot to see if something entirely different would come out. In some ways it did, and it was classic Weeks stuff. Then, in some ways it was not, and we got something we never would’ve gotten otherwise.”
“Classic Weeks stuff” is definitely alive and well in certain songs, like “Scared of the Sunshine,” a bluesy slapper with an active bassline and 1-2-7 chorus (think Jerry Reed’s “Eastbound and Down”), which has the intriguing wisp of pop punk present in past fan favorites like “Buttons” or “Grind Yr Teeth.” In other tracks, The Weeks seem to go into new territory. “The Real King” is Southern Gothic in its portentous subject matter, which is sung over a swampy, pendulous groove. Typical of the bands’ music, the choruses on Two Moons are unmistakable; musically indefeasible — they can start the songs or end them, be sung once or be sung seven times, and still sound rightly placed and rightly numbered.
“Musically, we’ve always tried to maintain what we started with 13 years ago,” Williams says. “We’re just angst-y, stubborn dudes. And lyrically, Cyle was doing a lot of that stuff too, at the beginning. But over the years, he’s just become like this crazy storyteller. That’s probably the most important part of the band. No, it is. It’s what separates us from everything.”
The Weeks, with retro-charged pop rockers Future Thieves, are playing The Cowan tomorrow night, Thursday, Aug. 8 as part of the Lightning 100 Presents series. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through TicketWeb.