2013 has been an interesting year for Keep On Dancin’s. The four-piece came into the year having released a warmly received debut album The End Of Everything and with an extensive playing schedule under their belt. Supports for the likes of Velociraptor and Dan Kelly were becoming commonplace. But the band deliberately fell off the radar, a belated cassette release Black Lassie the only hint that the band were still in action.
“For a good year now we’ve really reined things in,” drummer Alex Dunlop explains. “Jacinta (Walker) and Tegan (Rickard) wanted to focus on Tiny Migrants, and Yuri (Johnson) had Teen Sensations, and we all just needed a rest from it all. We were playing so often – it never approached the level of burnout, but we overexposed ourselves a bit. Then after that time we got back in the saddle and started playing a couple shows, and it felt right to be moving forward again.”
The main focus for the band is the upcoming release of sophomore record Hunter, and the process has seen them approach the art of music in a more calculated manner.
“We didn’t realise how many people liked (The End Of Everything) until after we had a break, and it changed the way we looked at things,” Dunlop stresses. “We didn’t really roll it out properly; we just played and played and sold bits at shows. We have tried to be cleverer with it, the whole experience. Before we played more like a lot of bands do, that is to play until we drop without thinking about what we were doing. This time we are weighing up what to do with film clips, we’ve planned the single (Grey Ghost), we’re doing interviews; we are picking and choosing what and when we play… Before we were playing every little dive because we said yes to everything, and it didn’t do anything for us.”
This new approach obviously bled into the writing and recording of Hunter also. “We recorded with Sean Cook, and we took things really slow; we spent a whole week on one song,” Dunlop emphasises. “We may have spent more money, but it also allowed us to take our time with it, adding bits here and there as they presented themselves to us. Because of that it feels really layered; there are drum loops involved, it’s quite metronomic, so it’s obviously very different to what has come before.”
Hunter won’t hit our ears until 2014, but the band are prepping us with the launch of two tracks from it, Grey Ghost and Baby, the second track of which has its own film clip which follows the four-piece as they wander around a day at the Ekka. The video was put together by Dunlop himself, something he admits was a great experience.
“We got a friend to bring his Handicam and follow us around the Ekka, just having some fun, feeding animals, playing games, going on rides and stuff. I got it together and chopped it all up into something. There was no song designed for it though, because there was no lip syncing or anything, so I just picked Baby because it had a dreamy quality to the whole experience. But we had decided that Grey Ghost should be the single a while ago, but wanted to show both off.”