Lake Street Dive singer Rachael Price and her bandmates say that the process of creating their latest album “Free Yourself Up” felt like a spaceship ride “surging into unknown territory.”
“We chose the title because it was a new venture for us in self-producing it,” said Price. “It (was about) freeing ourselves of needing a producer, freeing ourselves of preconceptions of who we were as a band. And what kind of songs we should make and what kind of sounding record we should have.
“We were trying things that we weren’t sure if we were going to like them or if they we’re going to sound good, or if they were going to be right. But the exploration was a really important part of the process for us.”
The band, which comes to The Sylvee on Tuesday, Oct. 30, experimented with several methods in recording songs. For example, the band laid down the rhythm track for some songs and recorded the rest live. Other songs were created through the use of looping different sounds and using it as a foundation to build the rest of the song on.
Price was particularly excited to experiment with background vocals.
“We did a lot of experimentation with recording background vocals, so we read how other background vocals were recorded,” she said. “We read how Queen recorded background vocals and how Fleetwood Mac did their background vocals. We tried those things to make sure we were getting the sound we really wanted.”
The band’s eclectic and energetic sound takes cues from past and present. Price says music from the ‘60s and ‘70s has had a big impact on them musically. It’s not uncommon to find them listening to The Beatles, David Bowie, Motown and soul music. They also listen to more current music such as D’Angelo.
“We often referenced a song while recording,” said Price. “We would start producing a song and get a track in our mind and listen to it and talk about the sound and why it was successful and if we could apply an aspect of it.”
One song that challenges Price most live is “Must Have Been Something.”
“It’s a different approach then I’ve ever done live because it’s a very understated song and it requires a lot of patience and requires me not to over-sing,” she said. “That’s the most important part of doing that song and I think that’s a challenge for me to get into that headspace.”
Lake Street Dive has a knack for creating energetic and catchy tunes that make the listener want to dance, sing along and have a good time. However, the band also wanted to have more substance to the lyrics this time around.
“We really need to get behind what it is that I’m singing about and what we’re playing,” said Price. “We’ve gotten much older and just needed the songs to be about more than the breakups we had in our 20s…Everyone has these deep feelings and thoughts and feelings and music is cathartic.”
“Free Yourself Up” is about pushing forward with hope even in tough times. That includes “I Can Change,” which Price co-wrote with band member Bridget Kearney. Price says she was surprised and honored to be able to contribute to a song with a hopeful message.
“That was a very exciting co-write for me personally because she gave me one verse of the song and I was really moved by what she had written,” she said. “I was surprised even by myself that I was able to respond in turn in contribute to a song with that message.”
“We just try to keep it positive,” added Price. “We find it a more inspiring message to pair whatever despair or frustration is going on the world with a feeling of hope. Our goal is to uplift people as best we can. And also uplift ourselves because we have to play the songs night after night. We want to lift up our own feelings out of any dark places that we may go to.” ￼