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ACL Fest 2014

Spoon Explain Illuminati-Inspired Album Cover at ACL Fest 2014

The Austin rock band also reveals which song sung by a '60s bombshell they love covering the most

Hometown heroes Spoon played an exceptional set at Austin City Limits Festival's first weekend, and it's not like they're unfamiliar with the adoring crowds at Zilker Park. 

"[We've played it] every record other than Gimme Fiction!" laughs Spoon's Britt Daniel before pointing out that 2014 marks the band's fourth year at the fest.

They kept their streak alive this year with songs from They Want My Soul standing out in the set list. Their most recent album, which dropped in August, embraces all of the straightforward and sultry rock verve you've come to expect from the Austinites. They went above and beyond with They Want My Soul on every level, but perfecting its artwork in particular was a challenging and rewarding process that netted some cool and creepy images, including the simple and bold art for its cover.

"We wanted to make our own art this time rather than licensing an image," Daniel explained. "We had this idea of a story—sort of like a horror story, a scary, spooky, Illuminati kind of brainwashing story—and then we went and took all the pictures for this story. So there was this main character, this girl. Jim [Eno] played a cop. I played a businessman. Alex [Fischel] was a gambler. We took all these pictures. It was a very elaborate photo shoot. The cover, the glowing hand, was from one of these photo shoots."

One of their favorite songs to play live these days isn't an original composition from They Want My Soul, but an unexpected cover of a heartbroken tune sung by one of the brightest bombshells of the '60s.

"Lately we've been covering this song 'I Just Don't Understand,'" said Daniel. "It was first performed by Ann Margret in like, 1961. It was sort of an accidental thing where we were going to do a quickie demo for a website. We ended up loving it, so we put it on the record. We play that most shows lately."

Gotta love some throwback vibes via vintage covers! For more on They Want My Soul and Spoon's fondness for ACL Fest, watch the Fuse exclusive above.

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