For the Dodos, "the best time to make a record is right after you've finished one" says vocalist and guitarist Meric Long.
Having just wrapped up the sessions for their previous record Carrier, and fired up on the level of comfort achieved with brothers Jay and Ian Pellicci at Tiny Telephone studio, the duo immediately began laying to tape the batch of songs that would result in their latest and sixth record, entitled Individ.
"There were things I didn't want to forget, sounds that we had just scratched the surface of making that record that I wanted to capitalize on. Songs came together easily, there was not a lot of questioning, just moving ahead with the feeling that we were on the right track. We were freed up to do whatever came naturally" says Long.
And for the Dodos, their natural inclination is to create music that sounds positively epic.
"In a lot of ways making this record brought us back to making Visiter," their 2008 critical and commercial breakthrough, "relying heavily on the movement that occurs between just two instruments, guitar and drums. From the first take of the first song we tracked, things sounded huge and that set the tone for the entire thing."
Individ's first single "Competition" is a shining example of this proclivity, built on dueling guitar lines that overlap above and below a persistent drum beat as Long's assured vocals soar above it all.
At other points, "Goodbyes and Endings" infuses a similar up-tempo feel while changing time signatures every few bars. "Retriever" chugs along on one of the dirtiest guitar riffs the Dodos have ever set to tape, all the while accompanied by drums that are more akin to gunshots.
As the album closes with "Pattern/Shadow" (a track that features vocals from Thee Oh Sees' Brigid Dawson), Long sings "Your shadow remains / I cannot resist / The mirrored escape / Of your pattern."
It's a moment that lyrically reinforces the record's guiding force of acceptance, imparting a lesson to a band whose name inherently calls into question its future: resilience isn't always about changing or adapting to a new environment, sometimes it's about staying true to your instincts and asserting yourself in this ever changing atmosphere.
Explains Long, "Carrier was about breaking habits, recognizing and imagining yourself away from the washing machine that has you trapped. That's why the cover image was of someone watching a tornado go away from him. This record is about accepting what is natural for you or maybe even a part of you .Individ is what it sounds like inside the tornado."