Silversun Pickups is hailed as one of the most dynamic and creative rock bands of the modern era. The group is known for its merging of ethereal melodies and sonic force.
From the indie rock opening salvo of 2005’s “Pikul EP” to 2012’s far-reaching “Neck of the Woods,” each release has seen the Silverlake, California-based band venture into uncharted territory, pushing their imagination and ability toward new summits.
Silversun Pickups’ first new album in more than three years, “Better Nature” sees the band partnering once again with producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Two Door Cinema Club, Crystal Castles), with whom they ollaborated with on the “Neck of the Woods.” The result is fluid and freewheeling, “oozy,” in Aubert’s words, with cranked guitars, propulsive rhythms and seemingly infinite textures.
Grammy award-winning mix engineer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Royal Blood) brings sonic power to the production, but at the album’s core is Silversun Pickups’ intuitive interplay, providing a musical counterpoint to frontman Brian Aubert’s incisive lyricism.
Richer, warmer and more evocative than anything in their prior canon, “Better Nature” is Silversun Pickups’ most human music thus far.
The album also marks the debut release from Silversun Pickups’ own New Machine Recordings. The label — which takes its name from the Pikul favorite, “… All The Go Inbetweens” — allows the band to control its course.
Aubert began writing new songs upon Silversun Pickups’ return to California after nearly two years on the road. He prepared for the new album by recording a series of extremely stripped down demos with keyboardist Joe Lester in the band’s rehearsal room — some wordless, others with just hints of melody and sound.
Silversun Pickups took those “raw bones” and “used the studio to be creative,” Aubert says, “To be improvisational. To not be too locked down.” With only the barest hint of a blueprint, the band relied on their already in-sync interactivity in order to create something unique.
“Better Nature” shows Silversun Pickups at their most supple; “Pins and Needles” is all loping riff and kinetic beats while “Friendly Fires” slow jams as much as it slow burns.
Co-written and sung by Monninger, “Circadian Rhythms (Let’s Dance)” is audaciously imagined modern pop, “the kind of song we would have tried to steer away from in the past,” Aubert says. A number of firsts are on “Better Nature.” The band allowed themselves to tackle tunes that once would have been anathema to the Silversun aesthetic.
Silverspun Pickups will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the show.