Korallreven are on the brink of releasing their long-awaited sophomore LP, Second Comin', and to tantalise us further, they've given a colourful, complex, in-depth Track-by-Track guide about it.
Have yourselves a read below, and then check out a stream of the record.
Death Is Not For Us
"When we started to record this album we said that we wanted to make one that should be like The Jesus & Mary Chain playing Ultra Music festival in Miami. Or the sound of a spring break in Kyoto. Wild but whispering. A rave among cherry blossom trees in full bloom, and so on. Full of contrasts, you know? Or, more simply, for the British readers over here: a Screamadelica for 2014.. but without looking back and copycatting. We had higher ambitions than that. "Death Is Not For Us" is our take on Beach Boys' "Don’t Worry Baby" and Sheila Chandra’s "Wings of the Dawn", all with a Yngwie Malmsteen or Eddie Van Halen inspired bubbly arpeggio-from-hell in there, and four girls from the local Tensta Gospel Choir that we hired a church for to record on top of it all. We go from the intro that should feel a bit like the River Styx to lyrics that we would take you to Puncak Jaya, Indonesia’s highest peak, in some four minutes. Wow, feels like that I should have written the press release after all haha!"
"China is a dear friend and the Jai Paul of Midsommarkransen. Or the female Jai Paul of London, since she lives there now. Anyway, we wanted to make a track that should feel like driving a pink Lamborghini in midnight Tokyo. I don’t know if we succeeded but I think that it turned out so catchy that we just had to produce some pink slime attached to it. If you get it, you get it; get it?"
"Initally the idea for the album was to go to what is said to be the happiest country in the world - Bhutan. Just to see what would happen if we were recording in a completely opposite environment than usual. Then, once we started looking at flights with Bhutan Airlines and googling how it is to land inbetween the fabulous mountains at Paro Airport, we felt that we still only dealt with simple escapism and that we - instead of escaping all the fears in our fucked-up heads - now would have to stop being all ”la-la-la”. We felt that we had to take care of our issues in our real lives and just let it flow and colour the new record. Threats is about that."
The Highest State of Grace
"I remember that I pretty immediately felt that this was a hit... and even if I don’t remember that much from our first US show at Bowery Ballroom in 2012 (it was such a nervous blackout night) I do remember that the audience, the loveliest audience, totally embraced the track right away when we premiered it there. Now I guess that this, since it has not been considered ”a single”, won't be a hit, but it will always be one in our minds. It is such a colossus and when we recorded the Tensta Gospel Choir on "Death Is Not For Us" we asked them to also sing like Carmina Burana in the outro. It was almost as if the roof of the church was lifting when we recorded it. It was such a physical experience. Most mind-blowing ever."
"This our fav track of the album. And it’s a sad, sad one. Don’t want to talk it to pieces."
"Of course, the album title is a blink to that second Stone Roses album. We thought that it was time for a record to be called that again. And if it would be a flop we could blame it on the title and that no record with such title will succeed haha..."
Try Anything Once
"I reached out to Cornelius to see if he would be down for singing on this track. So I took a flight to Japan and met up with him in his studio in Tokyo - and then he was game. I think that I first got in touch with Cornelius in 2001 when I saw the video for "Point of View Point" from his album Point on this show MTV New. It was just... wow! It was deconstructed pop music, a bit like music as molecular gastronomy. It was like getting to the molecular level of a particular sound - realizing what that sound actually is made of, and why it behaves a certain way when processed or cooked. Then, you use those molecules to build new forms, mixing and re-appropriating those raw materials - and of course, it tasted, or sounded, terrific. When he said yes to sing his deconstructed doo-wop on "Try Anything Once" it was just such a dream come true. And to then once again top it all with the Tensta Gospel Choir in the end... yeah, you know, just hyper magic.
"The track, which thematically is like a meditative self-help track, felt like it needed a duet partner. Then we came to think of Maria of I Break Horses. We just loved her voice and wanted to find out what it was like if it wasn’t as drenched in effects as it used to be in her own music. And wow! I don’t know if I ever have met someone who is as fun as Maria to be with in a studio. Just so hyper energetic and lovely."
Alone In Shinjuku
"This is just what the title says, me being alone in Shinjuku, walking around in the neon, sampling the sound of a Japanese gamehall. Then we later made a comedown track around it."
"For a long time this track was called Hardcore Heaven. Cause that was how it felt to us. Then we once again wanted to blend it all up with some romantic jangly guitars and a choir all made up by us. And once again we invited and got som help from Maria of I Break Horses. So, we really sang our hearts out on here, added stems after stems until all the gear just crashed over and over again because of all the information. Luckily we could finally finish it, this hyper organic techno track that surely should take on a lifeloving trip. And then the title, Ki: if you subscribe to the idea of ”life being love”, given that the desire to give/receive love is at the center of our humanity, then the Japanese word that represents that is ki. It’s perhaps the track that is the furthest from the first album, and that’s a super thing. We have never been into reprises."
Stream the record now via Dazed.
Second Comin' is out 3 November via Cascine.