Christina Fuoco-Karasinski • College Times
The Band Perry swaps banjos for dark electronic pop
After a successful career in country music, The Band Perry has switched gears to dark electronic pop. But singer Kimberly Perry is quick to add the new songs are warm, not cold and sterile as some electronic music can be.
The Band Perry used analog equipment to record its five-song EP, “Coordinates,” so it doesn’t have that sterile shine or gloss.
“The music is a perfect representation of what we love and who we are now,” Perry says.
The Band Perry is stopping by the Coca-Cola Sun Deck at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday, March 30, to promote “Coordinates.”
Released in September 2018, the EP introduced fans to The Band Perry’s reinvented sound. The move comes after it sold more than 2.5 million albums since its No. 1 single “If I Die Young.”
The Band Perry left its major label deal last summer to release music independently and to work with Rick Rubin.
“We wrote and produced all the songs ourselves, but it was executive produced by Rick Rubin,” Perry says about the legendary producer.
“We worked with him before, on our second album, with him and his studio in Malibu. We decided to circle back around with him and have him curate this project. Rick serves as a compass. He experiments with a lot of different sounds with traditional roots, with a pop feel. Some of that lives in the space between.”
Perry says Rubin brought forward The Band Perry’s songwriting and lyricism threads from the past but gave them a modern yet humanistic feel.
“It’s a great process to filter everything through him,” she says. “He’s there to make everything better. He tightens the lyrics and tells us what’s missing; things that keep it from being the best it can.”
Perry and her brothers are looking forward to the ASU concert and showing what makes their new music so special.
“The boys and I spent the last couple years experimenting with our sound, and we worked really, really hard on developing the future of our sound—what that was and what our current loves are. We’re going to be playing the five new songs and all the songs that have been on the radio as well. We just play them as they would sound on ‘Coordinates.’ We have a lot of electronic instruments. They come from interesting sources like drum machines and samplers.”
Perry says “You Lie,” a song off The Band Perry’s self-titled first album, is strikingly different this time around. Originally cut as a “bouncy number,” “You Lie” is emotional, as a vocal/piano ballad.
“We perform the songs as they’ve grown up with us,” Perry says. “It’s interesting because some older songs mean something totally new to us now. The vocals have been updated, too.”
Another example is the hit “Better Dig Two,” which was built around The Band Perry’s signature banjo sound. Neil Perry, this time, samples the banjo via floppy disk.
Perry admits she was a little nervous about how fans would react to the music, but she’s been pleasantly surprised.
“We’ve been really conscious about making everybody understand the intention behind the music,” she says. “In our imagery, they’re beautiful shots. I have very little makeup on, we’re out in the desert. Even though we take liberties with the sound, it’s just wonderful to see all these pieces come together.”
The Band Perry, Coca-Cola Sun Deck, Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe, 1.800.745.3000, ticketmaster.com, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, $24.