Lotus prep new album ‘Free Swim’ (stream “Catacombs”)
Lotus are set to follow 2018's Frames Per Second with new album Free Swim on August 21 via self-release (pre-order). "We went into the studio and recorded live and fast, trying not to overthink it and let natural intuition guide the way – the whistle blew for a free swim and we jumped in," says bassist Jesse Miller. "We had spent about a year writing, rehearsing and refining a large batch of songs, narrowing 25-30 demos down to 18 to record and used 10 on Free Swim. During that time, I was also building up my own studio around a mixing desk from the early 80s and some classic analog gear. That process informed the writing as I was continually mixing the demos and experimenting with synths. It was great to go into Spice House Sound in Philadelphia armed with all that pre-production work done. We could focus on putting all this music down in an amazing sounding, well-designed studio using the highest quality gear."
Jesse also explains where the album title came from: "[Keyboardist/guitarist] Luke [Miller] named the track ‘Free Swim’ and I thought it also made a great album name. Free swim can be read a couple of different ways, but I think both can apply to Lotus’s music. The first brings me back to childhood when my mom would drive myself and four brothers to the public pool. The free swim time was pure, unrestrained joy as we soared off the diving boards and burned off excess energy swimming for hours in the summers. The second reading is becoming free while swimming. I picture the feeling of weightlessness in open water in some beautiful, remote location. When we write for Lotus, we try to use the energy of a live show to guide our arrangements. I always hope it can take people to a place that feels joyous, energized and free."
The first taste of the album is opening track "Catacombs," which finds Lotus offering up thumping disco-house with a little jazz guitar and a little psychedelia in the mix too. Luke explains, "Two groups that steered me into electronic dance music in college were Daft Punk and St. Germain. Daft Punk utilized a sample-centric, loop style while St. Germain combined four-on-the-floor beats with jazz harmony and solos. Both were from France surrounding them an air of mystery and sophistication. They were both placed under the umbrella genre of ‘French Touch,’ which worshipped at the feet of disco-edit and heavy filters."
"For ‘Catacombs,’ I wanted to combine these two vibes," Luke continues. "The bass holds down a funky groove that dances around the root, always falling forward harmonically. The drums and percussion lock into a tight engine. The keys glue it together with analog synth chords and disco string stabs. The guitar adds a jazzy melody and Nile Rodgers-esque funky chords. The cream in the espresso is the flute by guest Sam Greenfield. Halfway into the song he lets loose on a flurry of licks to heat the groove to a boil."
That should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from this infectious song, which premieres below, alongside the album artwork and tracklist.
Bjorn Gets A Haircut
Earl of Grey
Land of the Lush