In January 2015, Spencer Krug found himself tormented by an external hard drive that sat on a shelf in his house on Vancouver Island. Krug had brought the hard drive with him from Finland and it contained the results of a collaboration with Finnish prog-rockers Siinai that had taken place a year earlier. In June 2016, the result of this collaboration is finally released as My Best Human Face, and sees Moonface & Siinai operating as a tighter, groovier version of the collaboration we initially saw in 2012 on Heartbreaking Bravery. It's a record that feels like it will really come into its own live and as I chat to both Krug and guitarist Risto Joensuu, it's clear that they're both excited to take it on the road - although even that might be a few years in the making.

"It's been hard because Wolf Parade just reunited and it's been very busy," Krug explains over the phone. "We're playing festivals all up and down the Summer and Fall, and it's not really fair to Siinai because I think we've made a cool record together and it needs to be played live. It's just going to take a couple of years for us to be able to hit all the places where this record should be played. But Siinai are very patient with me." Joensuu simply laughs at Krug's statement.

The two have the repartee of old friends, but there's also a sense that with Krug's attention on the recent Wolf Parade reunion they've not spoken in a while. For the first few minutes of our chat Krug and Joensuu catch up, discussing the weather, Krug's recent experience on tour and Joensuu's prep for a short Moonface & Sinai tour, which is piggybacking off the fact Krug is in Europe with Wolf Parade.

"We're trying to save money by doing it while I'm already in Europe. By the time we play the shows it'll have been years since we played together in the same room, and we only have three days to put the songs together. It'll be a busy few days, but it's going to be fun. And we have a new member joining us, who I've only met a couple of times. It's going to be interesting."

This new member, Risto explains, is Johanna Tarkkanen a frequent Sinai collaborator and live member of the band. "We're going to rehearse on the weekend before, so we're prepared," Risto continues. "And so Johanna knows how the songs go a little bit." Following that there are plans for some North American shows later in the year, but otherwise the band are going to be spreading out the touring over a couple of years.

"It's not going to be like a traditional album cycle," Krug tells me, "but that's always been the nature of this project. We do things spontaneously. We didn't even know if we were going to make a second record. It just sort of happened that we did and it took two years to make."

The fact that Wolf Parade has reunited this year gives the story of Moonface & Siinai a sort of symmetry for it was on a Wolf Parade tour that Krug and Joensuu met - back when the latter was part of Joensuu 1685. "One day Risto sent me an MP3 and said 'this is my new band, it's an instrumental band called Siinai'," Krug recalls. "Around that time, which was 2010, maybe 2009, I was really interested in the idea of making a Moonface record where I didn't have control over the music and was more just a singer and lyricist. So even though we didn't know each other very well I asked if I could come to Helsinki and make a record together."

"We didn't have many songs or even riffs made before [Spencer] came to Finland," Joensuu continues, "just a couple of riffs we sent you before hand. We kind of just jammed and did the album in two weeks when we went to the woods and the studio." Both Krug and Joensuu describe the sessions for Heartbreaking Bravery as intense, with the entire record finished within a month of recording. "So this second album was really different," Joensuu says.

Talk of doing a second album first started back in 2012 when Moonface & Siinai were on tour. "We had a tight band," Joensuu explains, "and I think we felt a little bit like it would be a shame if we didn't make music together again after the tour and the first album." Things fell into place in 2014 when Krug was living in Helsinki. "We had a lot of time to record and compose and jam together," Joensuu continues.

"We weren't in a rush," Krug adds. "Jagjagwaur didn't care if they got it or not. They weren't breathing down our necks or anything."

This lack of external pressures allowed the band to take their time in finishing the record. After a period of writing and jamming the band decided to head into the studio to record, unsure of whether the end result would be an album or just an EP. The instrumentals were recorded live of the floor in just a few days, which Krug saved to a hard drive to allow him time to finish writing his vocals.

"I just knew when we were recording in Finland that they weren't done," Krug explains. "I had some things to sing, but I knew they could be better if I had some time to work on them. Like I said before, no one was in a rush for the record, so there was no reason to just throw down whatever bullshit lyrics I had for the sake of finishing the record. Sometimes good lyrics take a long time - and I'm not even saying my lyrics are good - but the best that I can achieve often takes a long time for me to pull out of myself."

With it being such a long time before those lyrics were finished, it must have felt at times like the project had stalled, or maybe wasn't going to happen anymore? "I hoped it would be an album," Joensuu tells me, "because I thought that the things we put on the record in Finland would make a really good album. But I wasn't sure how it was going to end up - you never know with music what's going to get finished." Siinai weren't to hear the album again until it was almost complete, with Krug sending the entire record - now with vocals - as opposed to just one or two tracks here and there.

"I kind of surprised them, for lack of a better word," Krug explains. "I needed to just sort of realise what I thought the record should be on my own. Once I'd finished writing the lyrics, I recorded the vocals and then I did full edits and rough mixes of the songs on my own." Krug is quick to point out that this wasn't him taking an authoritative role, but rather presenting Siinai with "one idea of how it could be."

"All these things could have been changed, but Siinai are all pretty relaxed guys and we like a lot of the same kinds of music, so I wasn't surprised when they were like 'this is great let's just roll with this'."

"We were really excited when we heard the stuff [Spencer] had recorded in Canada," Joensuu says. "And it was also really good that it took a while because we had some distance to the recordings, so that in a way, it felt like a completely different thing."

Both Krug and Joensuu agree that the time taken to fully realise the record helped to make it better.

"Sometimes you get a little bored with the stuff that you record and you kind of don't want to remember what was there," Joensuu says.

"You can fuck up records too, by overthinking them when you do it all at once. You have something that's a good song, but you, as a group of people, have heard it so many times that you start rewriting it when it doesn't need to be rewritten. That didn't happen on this record because we put a bunch of stuff to tape and then no one heard it for a year-and-a-half - I didn't even listen to it for a year. And then the next thing that Siinai heard was the finished product."

With the instrumentals recorded live off the floor to capture the energy of the band's music, when it came time for Krug to record his vocals, he had to be sure they'd fit the sound of the recordings made in Helsinki. Krug and his backing singers had to feel like they were there, in that same studio.

"I did rough vocals at home," Krug says, "and I mapped everything out with scratch vocals - like where all the backup vocals would be. Then I made rough mixes of the songs - as good as I know how to do with my software - and then we just turned it up really loud."

With a friend who had a studio out on Vancouver Island (where Krug was living at the time), Krug set up a live room where he could record the vocals in his own time. "I was just there alone and I brought in a bottle of whisky. I like to record vocals at night and turn the lights way down and just press record. Like, turn the lights down, turn the music up and just have fun with it. There was no engineer in the room and there was no deadline. If it didn't work that night I could have done it the next night, if it didn't work that week I could have done it the next week."

Both Moonface and Siinai had separate records which came out the same year as the My Best Human Face sessions. Of particular note is Moonface's City Wrecker EP, the title track of which appears in a new form on the collaborative EP. "City Wrecker was recorded after the Moonface & Siinai recordings," Krug explains, "but it was while I was still living in Helsinki. It's the last thing I recorded in Finland. I just had a few piano / synth songs I wanted to get out of me. The song 'City Wrecker' I had originally written on piano and it ended up on the EP. At some point - I can't remember the timeline - I brought it to Siinai to do a rock version. It's just so groovy, you know? I don't even think we planned on it being on the record even, I just loved the way it turned out. It's so different to the ballad version that I felt justified having it on two albums. And if anyone has a problem with that I don't really care. I think it's a really groovy little number."

Meanwhile, Siinai released Supermarket an album which pushed their instrumental rock in a more expansive direction. It's a world away from the riffs of My Best Human Face, almost as though it was the work of another band entirely. "It's kind of like it's own animal when we play together with Spencer," Joensuu explains. "We don't really have any rules like 'we have to sound like this' or 'we have to do it like that'. It just so happens that we end up doing these kinds of songs when we play together. Originally, when we started this whole thing, I thought we were going to make some kind of avant-garde [record]."

"Moonface and Siinai is better when we just let it happen," Krug adds. "And it's cool because no one is that invested in it. It's not like anyone's baby, you know? Like my piano stuff, my solo Moonface stuff, I fuss over it a lot. It's my baby and I care about it being exactly how I want it." For both Krug and Joensuu Moonface & Siinai is a true collaboration. The two acts pull in slightly different directions - Krug bringing pop structures to Siinai's improvisation.

"Sinaii," Krug continues, "they're like a forest, or an overgrown jungle, that I'm trying to trim back into a hedge."

My Best Human Face is out now on Jagjaguwar.