Published Jul 12, 2011Though Mathieu Santos is plenty busy laying bass lines down for Brooklyn-based chamber pop outfit Ra Ra Riot, the musician seems to have a bit of spare time to himself, as he's just announced a solo album. The LP is called Massachusetts 2010 and comes out August 2 courtesy of Barsuk Records.
Interestingly, Santos caught the songwriting bug after penning "Massachusetts" for Ra Ra Riot's last album, The Orchard. An interview with Spin reveals that Massachusetts 2010 took shape shortly thereafter.
"When I started working these songs I got really into the whole process and ended up writing the ten songs that ended up on the album," he said. "It was sort of a surprise for me because I didn't expect to do it. It just sort of happened."
While the ten-song set purports to not stray too far from his full-time gig's sound, the record is supposedly a more minimalist affair, and you can download the new track "I Can Hear the Trains Coming" here and/or stream it below.
For Santos, having one songwriter as opposed to six apparently opened the songs up to an airier presence.
"With Ra Ra Riot, all six of us have very different sensibilities and influences, and because the nature of our band, there's a lot of different layers," Santos said. "I was interested in making something that was a bit more sparse; something that was different and I could make all the decisions on my own and follow whatever instincts I was having at the moment."
Though taking a break from the band, Santos did invite Ra Ra Riot singer Wesley Miles into the studio to lay down some sax.
Fans of Ra Ra Riot shouldn't worry too much about Santos outside projects, he's still a major part of the act. As previously announced, they have a Canadian tour lined up for the fall, and Santos confirmed the band are already thinking about a follow-up to The Orchard.
In the meantime, Massachusetts 2010 will be available digitally and in a limited edition of 500 hand-numbered white vinyl LPs, 30 of which will randomly include a hand-drawn illustration from Santos himself. The record will also be available as 100-copy run on cassette via Working Man Records. On top of that, a seven-inch featuring some non-album B-sides will be out on July 26 via Old Flame Records.
1. "I Can Hear the Trains Coming"
3. "I'd Go"
4. "(I Just) Need to Know"
5. "Good Return Theme"
6. "Northern Mentality"
7. "I Said So"
8. "Silly Thoughts"
9. "Wait to Get Up"
10. "The Bay/Where to Find Her"