After tossing off so many near-perfect pop songs during the ‘90s (and a few last decade), Chelsea-based trio Ivy is finally back. Side projects have kept members Adam Schlesinger, Dominique Durand, and Andy Chase busy, but their album All Hours, set for a September release, represents the band’s first new material in five years. Said Durand earlier this month from Los Angeles, “We’ve all been very busy.”
Schlesinger is in Fountains of Wayne, while her husband, Chase, is co-owner of a busy Chelsea studio where acts like Depeche Mode recently recorded music. A few years ago, Ivy actually did record a full album, but the band decided to scrap it. “We decided to start all over again,” said Durand. “We were like, Fuck it, it’s not good enough for us.”
But last year, Ivy got serious about exploring an original sound and began the recording process all over again. “We started from scratch and got very inspired,” she said. “These new songs we are very excited about.” So what does the new Ivy sound like? A lot like old Ivy, but mostly without their trademark jangly guitars. “We wanted it to be a more upbeat and happier-sounding record,” Durand said. “There’s more energy and light to it. It’s more dance-y, for Ivy,” she said, before quickly adding that All Hours is “not a dance record.”
Songs like “Fascinated,” the new single set to drop next week, sparkle with a catchy confidence that’s filtered through an ‘80s pop prism, and seem to draw danceable inspiration from acts like Cut Copy or MGMT. But it’s lead single “Distant Lights” that sets the tone for the new record with repetitive, siren-like synths and pulsating drums, eventually giving way to sweet melodies. It’s a radical departure for the band, but a welcome one.
Ivy plays the Gramercy Theater September 24th, and additional tour dates are to be announced soon.