As Chromeo was recording new album “Business Casual,” the duo kept and updated a chart in the studio, categorizing each song as they made them. More than just a summary of work performed, it was a map of mood, lyrical content and tempo; it helped determine which tracks would make the cut and which would be highlighted.
“We try to keep a self-contained universe,” Dave 1, aka Dave Macklovitch, explained in a phone interview. “Our music is retro but carefully calculated. We’re two guys who look different, but that’s part of the plan, too. We never had special guests until this record. We look up to bands like the White Stripes. They had their own little creative universe happening, like so self-efficient, impentetrable.”
Don’t worry, fans: Dave 1 and P-Thugg (Patrick Gemayel) haven’t adjusted their sound to the dirty garage blues rock of the ‘Stripes. Expect, though, a shift to more pop direction, with an emphasis on songwriting and not just the usual slew of ‘80s analog synths, talk box and “cheeky yet earnest” love songs for the dance floor. Dave calls it a record for “dancing in front of the mirror in my house, or get my swerve on before going to bed. A morning pep in my step,” concluding it’s more a “home” record than for the club.
“I was scared this record was too based around relationships and tension, so I made chart of which songs were about that. It ends up [‘Business Casual’] was a mix of beef and flirting. There were just too many beef songs,” he said. “But I’m happy if people think its all flirt.”
The duo did decide to include two very special guests on this turn, with Solange
Knowles on “When the Night Falls” and a bonus take on “I Could By Wrong” with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig (see below). But those haven’t been the only special vocalists with whom the band’s collaborated this year.
In June, the pair took to the stage with one of their biggest influences -- Daryl Hall
of Hall & Oates -- performing that act’s biggest hits like “Kiss on My Lips” as well as Chromeo songs. And the band didn’t want that to be the end of the combo.
Dave says that Hall and Chromeo plan to craft an album together, sometime after “Business Casual has had its run and when 63-year-old Hall finishes his next solo album. “It’s gonna take minute... But when it comes together, it’ll come together fast,” Dave says. “We’re having an ongoing dialogue.”
"Business Casual" was released on Tuesday.
Click here to check out the music video to Chromeo's "Don't Turn Out the Lights."