Yes!!! One of my favorite bands, Danish garage rockers the Raveonettes (named for their two biggest influences, Buddy Holly's "Rave On" and girl group the Ronettes), are celebrating their 10th anniversary with Observator, their sixth album out September 11 via Vice Records. I love the summer time, but, damn, now I can't wait for the fall.
Singer-guitarist Sune Rose Wagner, a longtime New Yorker, is calling the new effort their "Los Angeles album."
"When it came time to start work on this album, the warm Pacific pull had become irresistible."
The move was inspired by Wagner's hard luck in the Big Apple. He threw out his back last summer and the "extremely difficult" recovery resulted in a deep depression. "When you're a young man and you can't put your socks on in the morning without being overwhelmed by pain, it can be very demoralizing."
He was under doctor's orders to "stop drinking, start exercising and to be more social," he explained. To clean up he decided to move to Venice Beach, which "seemed like the perfect solution." It wasn't. "I found dread and despair... a wicked loneliness that only furthered my intake of substances. I couldn't focus and inspiration was fleeting or mostly absent."
He eventually found his muse in the people of Los Angeles (hence the name Observator) and in one of the city's most iconic bands.
"I was listening to the Doors constantly [which] only added to the seductive draw of the drowning sun," he said, adding that he was inspired by the '60s band's "classic verse-chorus-verse style of songwriting."
Wagner and Foo recorded at LA's legendary Sunset Sound Studios with Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, Go-Gos, Richard Hell), who also produced their 2005 album Pretty In Black. They finished the album in just seven days, a speed record for the Raveonettes.
"It was during these sessions that a new dimension to the Raveonettes began to develop," said Wagner. For the first time, the band incorporated piano onto the record--"what a glorious, gloomy sound," he said.
"It's one of the quickest and easiest albums we've ever done," added Wagner. "It was getting in the right frame of mind to actually write the songs that took several agonizing months. [I finally realized that] the future of the Raveonettes was in the people, the occurrences and the relationships that were immediately around me."
"It's not an LA album. It's not even a New York album. It's a collection of observations that occur in life and as I've learned, life happens everywhere."
While we wait for the arrival of Observator, let's revisit some of the band's best tunes below.