Music Spotlight: Spirit Award
Psych-pop trio Spirit Award released their latest album Muted Crowd earlier this month, and we’ve had it on repeat ever since. The album combines current topics of political, social and environmental issues + their dreamy sound. We chatted with vocalist Daniel Lyon about the album.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your recent album! Tell us about Muted Crowd.
Daniel Lyon: Thank you! We made Muted Crowd with Producer Trevor Spencer (Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty) in a barn studio in Woodinville, WA. The idea for the record was seeing the change happen in our city (Seattle) and the struggle to make art and live in a growing, expensive, condo-filled city. We want to do more than just make music; we want the message to mean something to someone, to make someone stand up for what we are fighting for: peace, equality, simplicity, and sustainability.
AM: What’s the meaning behind the album title?
DL: Muted Crowd is kind of a search into what continues to happen when mass shooting, global warming or anything we don't or can't solve with a simple answer. We know something must be done, but we don't know what to do. So, we end up this disconnected crowd who all is wanting the same thing but not knowing how to organize to make a change. We end up a muted crowd.
We know something must be done, but we don't know what to do. So, we end up this disconnected crowd who all is wanting the same thing but not knowing how to organize to make a change. We end up a muted crowd.
AM: How does it compare to your previous album Neverending?
DL: To me, Neverending felt like something I needed to purge out of me—it was a lot deeper and more personal. Muted Crowd feels like it has a lot more fun, and we pushed ourselves to do something different.
AM: How would you describe your sound?
DL: I guess it's always changing slightly, but generally I would say it's like if Can and Brian Eno decided to make a record. Experimental/psych/pop.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue through your music?
DL: Pretty much anything that feels like it's coming to us that seems worth exploring. On this record, we explored themes of cults, religion, spirits, minimalism, materialism, toxic masculinity, corporations. It sounds all over the place, but it all kind of ties into each other and with what is happening in the world.
AM: What other musicians are currently inspiring you?
DL: I think we are constantly inspired by Paul McCartney and how he continues to push himself to make music. That to me says something. Here is a guy who at any point in his career could have hung up his hat and said, ‘Well I made enough masterpieces’ or ‘I've toured enough’, but he continues to do it for the love of it. That is inspiring to meet people who have that same itch where they don't feel at peace unless they are creating something. I can relate to that.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self/music?
DL: Oddly enough, when I'm driving in my car. It's one of the few times I don't have a lot of distractions, and I can think about ideas or hum or sing them without being interrupted.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
DL: We are working on a few things right now. A few more singles, a covers EP, and the next LP. I think were talking about the next record being a little more raw and aggressive, but things always take a shape of their own once we sit down to record.
// listen to muted crowd:
// Listen to more Spirit Award on Spotify.