Christopher Chu from POP ETC talks us through a few of the songs from their new album, headed up by a lyrical scrapbook image.


New Life

This song is about not being able to let go. Having a relationship with a person become so intertwined with your life that it's impossible to separate yourself from that person, forever. I wrote this song with my brother, and it was the first time we had done something like that. He had written all the music first, so I started jotting down lyrical ideas on scraps of paper and finding the melody from there. It became one of my favourite songs on the album. Jon said he was inspired by Arthur Russell when he wrote this. I'm really happy this song ended up being the first track on the album. Not only do I think it sets the mood perfectly, because it's this kind of ambiguous song that is poppy and hooky at times, but also pretty dark. We also wanted to bookend the album with spoken word (the song "YoYo" is last, and also has a spoken word). 



With 'C-O-M--M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E' I was trying to capture the feeling of insanity that one feels sometimes in a relationship. especially as you are learning to communicate with someone, it's so easy to misinterpret and miscommunicate your thoughts and feelings, as people express themselves in such nuanced ways. I was thinking a lot about what the word "love" actually means…. can love exist without reciprocation? how much of this "love" was just in my head? 


Keep If For Your Own

When working with Brian (Danger Mouse) he wanted us to come into the studio with absolutely nothing, to build something from scratch. This was the first time I had done something like this, but it also felt very appropriate, as most pop songs are written in this way-- through collaborations between various writers. it was a very interesting experience. Brian is much more conscious of structure than I am. I think I usually end up letting the melody dictate the structure, trying to keep melodic flow. Brian likes to play with structure more. We tried countless different arrangements of this song, and finally found one that worked for all of us in a natural way. I really love how this song ended up, when I think back to the process of making it, it feels kind of mysterious. I'm not sure where exactly it came from. I think in some ways it's the hookiest song on the album, although it's done in a much more subtle way than songs like 'YoYo' or 'Back To Your Heart'.