Sydney band Key Out release their second album, Anthropomorphia, which is out now. Anthropomorhia is a bedroom recording featuring acoustic guitars and ageing synthesizers, toy percussion and drums, sequencers and vocal harmonies. It has the intimacy of a home recording, but the polish of Wayne Connolly’s mixing and mastering (Amy Shark, Matt Corby).
The home ‘studio’ gave the band the freedom to chop, edit and rearrange original demos and the songs changed. Electronics were swapped out for acoustics, and analog drums for sequencers. Rock songs became electroishpost punk (Chorus), filtered summery pop (Buildings) and close mic’d folk (Dog). The band go in to more detail about the album with Hi Fi Way.
Is there a feeling of relief knowing that the album is finally coming out?
Yes, relieved and excited.
Was there any doubts about what is the right time to release an album?
Yeah, this seems like the wrong time for all sorts of reasons but we’re really excited to share it and never really considered holding it back. This also feels like a moment when people are looking at what is happening locally so it’s exciting to be part of that.
How has the band gone with navigating their way through the COVID-19 crisis?
We’ve been doing some practice at home, without drums, or with extra guitars or bass or samplers or synths, and thinking about how we’ll play live with new constraints. We’re still not entirely sure where all the songs are going to land, but we have a few options depending on what live spaces and gatherings look like in future.
Do you think now that the second album is always the hardest?
This was sometimes a slow process but it wasn’t hard. We learned a few things from the last go around that we wanted to try and I think worked out well. And we don’t have great expectations – maybe that’s where that follow up pressure comes from.
How do you compare both of your albums?
The settings and the way we built the songs was different. We tracked What (do) you see mainly live in the studio with Greg Walker over a week in rural Victoria. We tracked Anthropomorphia at home. It was a trade of expertise and direction for time to think and experiment, and took the songs in some new directions.
Do the songs reach their inevitable end or do you prefer to keep them short?
These songs all reached their logical conclusion, and they just happened to be shortish. We pulled the demos all apart and put them back together during recording and this is just where they ended up.
What was it like working with the legendary Wayne Connolly?
Really great. He balanced the mess of tracks we had and gave everything the right amount of space and emphasis. Funny guy too.
What comes first, the lyrics or the music?
They’re usually piecemeal operations – a line here, a part there that come together at some point. But in general the music gets closer to the finish line earlier than lyrics.
What was the biggest lesson learnt in the studio?
The value of time when trying to find the small things that a song fall into place.
Are there plans to tour the album if it is possible to do so?
There are no specific tour plans, but we’re looking forward to playing live. We’re just unsure if it’s going to be in the digital world, a small local space, a drive–in or something new that people are currently dreaming up.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Follow Key Out on Spotify…