Today’s the first day…

Of the new
album.

Stuart is one of my favorite artists and as usual, I’m excited to start the new album. This will be the third one I’ve done with him and it seems my preparatory notes about the songs get more and more abstract as the records progress. Ironically, my focus about the direction of the albums, as a whole, gets more and more focused.

When I first met Stuart, I saw his genius and immediately wanted to document and enhance it. That was the album Bell. That was good attempt, but it didn’t quite capture “Stuart”. For the next record, I wanted to accentuate every eccentric part of Stuart. That was the album ¿What. I’m very proud of that collection of songs. It came out just as I wanted. However, I think its wildness scared off a lot of people.

Which brings us to the new one.

I’ve decided to print out a set of questions and post them around the studio.

1. Is it simple?
2. Is it familiar?
3. Can I sing along to it?
The idea is not to handicap Stuart, but to build a stage upon which he can perform to a wider audience. We’ve done narrow and deep VERY well. Now, I want to try opening the aperture a bit wider to include some new faces.

We recently did a song for the new Owen Wilson movie

, set to come out next spring. It’s one of the simplest songs we’ve ever produced, and so far it seems to be one of the most memorable.

It’s a great place to start.

So, if I don’t check in as much, it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s because I do love you.