The logical opening for an interview with Dan Deacon is Dan comparing himself and his life to a synthesiser. "If I'm thinking about myself as a synthesiser, I'd take the LFO that's controlling my sample and hold and I'd stabilise that. So at least then, the chaos is controlled by the same means, it's not just chaos controlled by chaos." Whether it's in the sounds of new record Gliss Riffer, his analogies or being blessed with "beautiful sunshine" in the midst of winter in Hackney, Deacon lives in a world of just that; unexplainable chaos.

Deacon likes London, he feels like "places with uncomfortable outsides yield comfortable insides," so it's no wonder that he's found such solace in Baltimore, the city he's been living in for the past 10 years. Filled with "boarded up buildings," poverty and crime, citizens have to "create their own culture." The culture that he himself has carved out is one from experimentalism. Whether it's the opportunity to "try things out whilst they're still vulnerable and without it being blogged" or "feeling safe and secure," "being in Baltimore reminds me a lot of being in college: I can fail freely." Will he ever move? "You've got to think: you can only live in a handful of places your whole life, and I just can't imagine moving. My music radically changed when I came to Baltimore, so I feel like my music is from Baltimore."

We continue in this vein for the next five minutes, discussing his position as a "native immigrant" in the City and what it takes to really be from somewhere. Naturally, this leads to discussing the difficulties Chinese people encounter when trying to move from rural to urban areas, and then we take a segue microscopically comparing the DNA of a Baltimore resident and a New Yorker. Eventually, when we're caught up in how perspective can make a pig and a dolphin look identical in one sense but astronomically different in the other, Deacon shakes with laughter and says, "I don't know what we're talking about anymore." Hurried by constant activity and a genuine sense of spontaneity, a conversation with Dan Deacon plays out a lot like one of his records.

After the monumental, grandiose sound of his last record America, it surprised some fans that Gliss Riffer should pull in such a different direction. It is, by his own admission, "a return to how he made music in the first place." Written on a computer by Deacon alone whilst he was on tour with a thirty-piece band, it can only be seen as a reaction. Driven by circumstances and logistics, he has written a record with the same tools that he conceived his earliest work with. "I didn't own a microphone, I didn't even own a computer. I had to borrow one to record Spiderman of the Rings, so of course it was going to be vocals and computer at the time."

Assured it wouldn't sound like a decade old Deacon record as "it's been a very long time and because of the experiences I've had," Deacon set about trying to inform an electronic record in an acoustic way. "I thought it'd be fun to make an electronic record in the same way I'd make an acoustic record. Acoustic instruments require space, they need room to breathe, but with a computer you can just layer things endlessly at maximum volume. You can't do that with an orchestra."

We talk more about the type intimacy he developed with the material as he was working alone. I ask him about the dangers of becoming too close to an insular collection like this. "When you're making music, you don't want a something to need to have a back story to be interesting, you want to the songs to be beautiful on face value. It's the same way that when you introduce two friends that don't know each other, they have to get along. They didn't grow up with you in the same way that you grew up with them, so it's a lot like that. I'm introducing these songs to people and thinking 'are they good enough? Do I only love them because they're my own children?"

Deacon then divulges how he's never made a record with this kind of constant development and instant reaction: rushing back to his hotel room after shows to fine-tune a vocal melody, ripping out the heart of the song and starting again; it really does sound like he's been through an intense time with Gliss Riffer. What really makes me smile though is when Deacon tells me what really "sealed the deal" in terms of his confidence in the record. "I was watching this interview with Bill Murray, which just kind of blew me away. Bill Murray was talking about how you're the best at what you do when you're very relaxed. And the more relaxed you are, the better you are at doing. I've always been very stress focused and deadline focused, I think a lot of people are like that. But I can't help but think now that it's a terrible way to live. It's like being on your deathbed and being like 'well, now it's time to enjoy life!' It just seems insane."

On the subject of reinvention, Deacon is surprising, and it becomes clear that this album is very significant for him. "It really helped and made me realise that I wasn't relaxing properly. And that I was letting anxiety and stress enter into the things that I used to use to get away from those things. And I realised that I was never bored. When I wasn't working, I was wasting time - not relaxing. I'd be on my phone or computer or doing emails or just keeping myself busy. I'd never let my mind drift out of fear of anxiety, but it was causing the anxiety." And how does one wrestle down such a fundamental part of their character, I ask? "Well, I'm still doing a really shitty job of it. But I just stopped worrying. I started thinking 'I like this', when I first started making music, that's how I felt. I made Spiderman of the Rings thinking that nobody would ever hear it - it was just taking picture of a moment - but now when I make a record it's a very different process: I started thinking 'I don't want to fuck this up'. But I stopped worrying that and started thinking 'I just want to make this record the best that I can make it. I like this, I'm proud of this, so let's move forward so we can start writing new music.'"

The track that defines the album and his battle with his own psyche is 'Learning To Relax', "I recorded all of the other songs whilst I was struggling with that one." Fittingly enough, the song became his mantra in the process of "stop over thinking it. I had 6 different versions of the bass sound on that one, but I had a sound on that, and I really like it, so why do I keep trying to find alternatives?" He continues, "You can go to every restaurant on the block trying to find the best meal in town, or you can just sit down and just enjoy your meal. I started really enjoying the process again, not that I wasn't enjoying it before, but I was letting the stress cloud that."

So, in the interests of being happy, just how vital is cleansing one's life of that stress? I tell Deacon about a recent Radiolab episode in which the presenter partook in some robust, early stages research. She agreed to hook electrodes up to her brain and, not only did it help her concentration but for a week it ridded her of the anxiety she suffers from every day. "Fuck!" Deacon yells before comparing it to force-feeding cows hormones so they don't stop lactating. Would he take part in the shock treatment to eradicate his anxiety? "No, if I wanted to do that, I'd get a prescription to Xanex or something. I feel like a lot of my neurosis is from my own mind. I feel like I'm humble enough to know when I should ask for help. It's like everybody should have a gym membership; I feel like everybody should go to therapy. Everyone on the fucking planet should have somebody impartial to talk to about their life. But at the same time, I think getting your brain hooked up to fucking electrodes that are going to alter your alpha waves... I'm sure that if I just exercise an hour a day, it would help."

Dan is as forthright and honest about his own foibles in person as he is in his art; it's refreshing - however, is there anything too personal that he wouldn't feel comfortable broaching in his art? "Of course." We laugh as I ask whether the same rules qualify for interviews too. "Some things are best left unsaid. And some things don't make sense without context either." He continues to discuss how you can only understand certain things about people if you have a personal connection, before hitting me with a typically Deacon-esque bon mot from out of left field. "I often think how many times in the past seven years has Obama cried? What does he cry about? What are Obama's fears? What makes him giggle? I'll never know, I don't care - well; I must do if I've been thinking about it. But I'd be more interested in knowing what somebody posing for a portrait in the 1500s was thinking. Intimate relationships are called intimate for a reason. You only really get to know a handful of people in your entire life, some of them you're born knowing and some you pick up along the way. And some people you don't know at all but they inform your life. So there's a lot of things I wouldn't share." It's a point that resonates after a conversation with Dan, as - like his music - amidst all of the spontaneity and genuine energy in his rhetoric, it's not something that you would gather.

"Is there a natural place for you go to from here?" I ask.

"Yeah, I need to go in the venue and start setting up." He replies.

"That's a more existential question than the one I was looking for."

Gliss Riffer is out now.