Mercury Prize-nominated Manchester chaps Everything Everything spent the majority of last year slaving over their third album, Get to Heaven. But they also spent some time on display in a local library.
As they were halfway to Heaven, they picked up a residency at Manchester Central Library, where they curated a week’s worth of events and worked on a new piece of music in an enclosure.
“That was an interesting thing to do because we were so much in the mode of making the record,” drummer/vocalist Michael Spearman explains from his home. “With that library thing, we were writing a 25-minute piece in a week and people were watching us write it.”
Taking a break from the album refreshed the four-piece art rockers but Spearman concedes passing school kids and bookworms would have been confused by what was going on behind the glass.
“People think songwriting is very quick, like you’ve got this idea and you’ve this riff, and after a few hours you’ve got a song,” the drummer says. “But for us it’s about chipping away at an idea and constantly taking a step back and asking ‘What do we like about this and what don’t we like?’
“So people would come and see us at our little glass room and they were probably surprised at how little we were playing because the playing of the music isn’t that hard, it’s more the conceptual stuff.”
The library break came between the band recording in a multitude of settings, including Giant Wafer Studios in Wales, the band’s Manchester studio and Angelic Studio in Oxfordshire, where they recorded 2013’s Arc.
“Angelic is a nice studio and we were there for five weeks,” Spearman recalls. “It was on a farm, so it’s a real sense of being cut off, bunkering down and focusing on the recording.”
Everything Everything recruited big name producer Stuart Price, who has worked with the Killers, Pet Shop Boys and Madonna, to put his finishing touches on Get to Heaven.
“I think we really wouldn’t have been able to do it without Stuart being there in the end because it was quite harrowing recording,” Spearman admits, “and he gave us this new energy when he came into the studio.”
Get to Heaven is released June 19.