Dylan Ettinger – ‘Wintermute’

Dylan Ettinger will release a new album, Lifetime of Romance, next month.

The Bloomington, Indiana artist took our breath away with his last LP of strung-out drift-psychedelia, New Age Outlaws: Director’s Cut, released on Not Not Fun in 2010, and his ‘Lion Of Judah’ single – a winning fusion of star-gazing synth-pop and  heavyweight dub – featured highly in FACT’s 50 best tracks of 2011.

Lifetime of Romance continues Ettinger’s move away from the long, loping jams with which he first made his name, and towards a more succinct, poppy, if still decidedly grainy, sound. Check out lead single ‘Wintermute’, via the Soundcloud player above, for an idea of what to expect.

FACT caught up with Ettinger to find out about the origins and execution of Lifetime of Romance – “a collection of love songs focused on every significant romantic failure I’ve ever experienced” – which will be released by Not Not Fun on LP and digital in February.

How did your approach differ to this album, as opposed to New Age Outlaws?

Dylan Ettinger: “With Lifetime of Romance, I wanted to be more concise, focused and direct. The New Age Outlaws recordings were jam-based and as a result of that, it’s more of a sprawling record focused primarily on conveying mood and aesthetic. I also wanted to be able to perform every song off of Lifetime live, which I was not able to do with the music from New Age Outlaws. I wrote the songs and played them in a live setting for months before I recorded them so the way they are recorded perfectly represents the way they are performed.”

The sound of the tracks on the album is quite different to where the ‘Lion Of Judah’ single seemed to be heading…

“It wasn’t entirely intentional. I started out with the intent of making the songs more similar to ‘Lion of Judah’ but as the process was underway, I realized that nothing I was working on sounded quite like it. I think in some ways the tracks on Lifetime of Romance sound more like traditional synth pop than ‘Lion of Judah’. They are still certainly weird enough to never appear on Top of the Pops.”

Does the record feature contributions from anyone other than yourself?

“My friend JP plays saxophone on the instrumental track leading up to ‘Maude’. The saxophone is one of my favorite instruments but something about it just doesn’t click with me. I had JP help me out and he was able to do exactly what I wanted.  I also can’t ignore the input from John Dawson. While he was recording and mixing he helped me with some decisions that I was having trouble with and he always had great suggestions along the way.”

New Age Outlaws was quite a “story-based” record; is there a concept or story behind Lifetime of Romance?

Lifetime is about how frustrated I was in my personal life. I was lonely and bitter and it was starting to affect my life in negative ways so I decided to try to work through this frustration in my music.  To put it simply, Lifetime of Romance is a collection of love songs focused on every significant romantic failure I’ve ever experienced.

Are you planning on doing anything differently with your live performances for this album?

I’m still working on this one. I’ve recently performed with the saxophone player that plays on the album and that went really well. I’ll likely do some touring in 2012 and I’ll start working on some new material to perform live very soon. Part of the challenge in performing for me is keeping everything fresh. When I start to tour, you can bet there will be some new sounds.

1. Wintermute
2. Sport and Superstition
3. Disparager
4. Arco Iris
5. Maude
6. 18
7. Blue and Blue



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