Published Nov 29, 2013After putting out five albums as a member of indie experimental quintet Gang Gang Dance, Brian DeGraw is set to release his first proper solo effort next week.
Under the name bEEdEEgEE, SUM/ONE finds the Manhattan-based keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist joined by Gang Gang Dance singer Lizzi Bougatsos, Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, Lovefoxxx of CSS and electronic singer-songwriter Douglas Armour on guest vocals.
Speaking with Exclaim!, DeGraw shed some light on the album's genesis, saying, "It's something that I've always wanted to do in general. The time was there, so I just decided to start working on it. I've been making music whether or not it's going to turn into a record and it got to the point where it started to become enough stuff to release."
Taking on a tighter and more pop-oriented slant with his debut, Brian says of the album's novel direction: "What comes naturally to me is just improvising, being intuitive and spontaneous in music, and once I started messing with structure I became obsessed with it."
The album was recorded during Gang Gang Dance's current year-long break, which is due to what DeGraw calls "exhaustion from too much touring." Of the group's interpersonal relationship, he says, "We had to realign some things in the band, there was some personal relationship stuff. We just had to stop for a minute and figure out a different way to approach the band that doesn't rely so heavily on touring."
He adds, "We've had one band member change in the band. For some reason that's been talked about, internet-wise, that we've changed drummers once again."
While it's unclear when Gang Gang Dance will return, in support of SUM/ONE, DeGraw has lined up a few U.S. dates, some of which are with Animal Collective. You can see bEEdEEgEE's complete schedule here.
SUM/ONE arrives December 3 via 4AD.