Beat Connection: Letting go, moving forward, and swinging for the fences

When it comes to sweet beats ‘n good vibes, Beat Connection does the damn thing.

It’s impossible to listen to “Another Go Round,” the Seattle-based trio’s latest sonic gem, without busting a sporadic dance move or two. Spiked with the cross-cultural sounds of sitar strings, hand drums, and tropical-meets-nu-disco grooves, the jam is both feverish funk and new wave electro-pop. It’s like fruity rum punch, but with a secret dose of tequila—breezy and tasty and seemingly harmless, but by the end of the night, bound to put a dangerous bounce in your booty.

Beat Connection debuted “Another Go Round” via Stereogum last week, the second new single previewing the group’s forthcoming LP. Since premiering their glittery, delightful first full-length album, The Palace Garden, back in 2012, the BC guys have been performing gigs around the country, and working on new stuff here and there. But now, with two dazzling new singles, a promising sophomore record on the rise, and plans to perform on major stages like this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, big things are soon to be happening.

We spoke with producer and founding member Reed Juenger about their latest single, the upcoming record, and impending ACL debut. Beat Connection is growing up, paying rent, and straight up bringing the heat.

You guys just released “Another Go Round.” What’s the story behind the song?

I guess that’s some of the most confessional songwriting we have done. We write music collaboratively, so it’s not autobiographical from just one of us. But, I will say it’s about wanting to fall back in line with a less than perfect relationship while still knowing it’s gonna be the same thing over again.

This track is your second single off your upcoming LP (“Hesitation” is dope, by the way). What’s this record going to look like? 

We have been working away on this one under cover of night for a while, and we are feeling super proud of it. We’re looking at something that is like 90 percent done right now, but we have written something like 40 tracks, so the ones that have made the cut have a sort of similar thread running between them. We’ve been thinking a lot about commerciality and the commodification of pop music. It’s sort of more honest for us to admit that we’re making a product and are trying to sell that shit out, and yet, that’s so sad to admit—but what the fuck does being cool get you if you can’t pay rent?

It’s been weird watching electronic music grow so much since we started, and there are so many people who sort of seem to think electronic music didn’t exist until 2012, so we are feeling some alienation and trying to combat it with some catchy tracks. We are swinging for the fences on this one. All the chips have been on the table for us, and we are about ready to show our hand.

So far it sounds very different from The Palace Garden. Would you say your sound has matured over the years?

Yeah, I think it has matured. It was only a matter of time for that though. I’m 24 and already feeling like an aging hipster so maybe maturing isn’t the best thing. We are really trying to make an honest record about what we are going through right now, and part of it is maturing, part of it is nostalgia, part of it is letting go of all of that and moving forward.

There are some sad songs on this record and there are some triumphant ones. The lineup and the working process of the band has changed a lot since Beat Connection started, and, to a fault, it has caused each record to sound really different. There are some things that tie this album all the way back to our first EP, but for the most part we have moved on.

How long have you been working on the album?

Too long, more than a year, but a lot of life got in the way. We are all trying to be functional members of society and pay the bills, and that takes a lot of time too. We need to find a home for the record, so we don’t have a set release date yet.

You guys are set to perform at ACL this year. Have you ever played in Texas?

Yeah, we have played SXSW a couple of times and have stopped through Austin, Houston, and Dallas on tour dates. This is our first time at ACL though, and we are really looking forward to it. Trying to catch Outkast again, had a nearly religious experience last time I saw them. Wanna witness the crowd lose their shit to Skrillex and things like that.

What can the ACL crowd expect from a Beat Connection show?

It’s gonna be a party. We are playing some new tracks, some old tracks. Gonna have the club going up, you know. Our goal with shows is to seriously bring the heat. We have been expanding our production a lot and really thinking about stage aesthetics. One day I would love to be toeing the line with theatre.

I see you’re touring through the end of the year. Any idea what 2015 looks like for you guys?

Got some things planned, but God help us, it better look like success.

And um, who runs your Instagram? Because kudos.

I have a tenuous relationship with social media. I would like to just post stupid shit on there while drunk, but then no one would like our music.

Beat Connection is currently on tour throughout the U.S., and is set to perform during weekend two of Austin City Limits Music Festival. For a list of tour dates, check out the band’s website.

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