Published Mar 27, 2012Since forming out of the ashes of dance punk hopefuls Professor Murder and their subsequent offshoot, Restless People, Brooklyn, NY's Tanlines (Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen) have taken the leisurely route to releasing their debut album. Dropping debut single "New Flowers" in 2008 (the year they formed) and then the half-instrumental Settings EP two years later, Mixed Emotions arrives more than a year after its projected date. Written during a time of personal insecurity for the duo, Emm's lyrics are reflective yet relatable, shining bright, thanks to their commitment to fully fleshing out these songs beyond their ear for percussion. Mixed by the legendary Jimmy Douglass (Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Gang of Four), Mixed Emotions is just the painstakingly crafted, mood-driven long-player we've been waiting for from this immensely talented duo.
You were evicted and had to switch studios while recording. How did that affect the album?
Producer/multi-instrumentalist Jesse Cohen: The owners sold the building and people had to be out in six weeks. [But] six weeks eventually became six months. Basically that period of uncertainty provided the sense of urgency we had for making this record. It definitely filtered into the entire process, not knowing what would happen next. I think it was a big part of the album, especially for Eric and the lyrics, with the sentiment and being an adult, wanting to know what you're doing, but the inevitable uncertainty of life.
Jimmy Douglass has mixed and produced everyone from Justin Timberlake and Led Zeppelin to Jay-Z and Hall & Oates. What did he bring to Mixed Emotions?
I think what he brought to the record was not just fresh ears, because this is a guy who knows what good sounds like, he's heard everything. But we had been working in our bubble for a year and at a certain point you don't know what it sounds like anymore. It was important to bring in an outside person and get their perspective. There's no question that his work made a huge difference; he's on another level that we have never achieved before.
Read a review of Mixed Emotions here.