Faithful fans of The Posies have always been able to rely upon the group for a solid power pop fix since their 1988 debut. Seven studio records later, the group’s newest offering Blood/Candy is a triumphant return to pop form for the Seattle band after the largely experimental Every Kind of Light long player, which was released in 2005.
Primary Posies songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow admit that Every Kind of Light wasn’t the group’s brightest moment but consider it to have been a necessary stepping stone for the band in hindsight:
“I think Every Kind of Light shows we could still be creative,” Auer begins from his record label’s office on a press junket day. “I think it has a lot of great ideas and some really excellent songs but looking back on it, it doesn’t feel like the most cohesive record.
Stringfellow elaborates on his partner’s assessment stating, “When we made the last record, I don’t know if we truly trusted that the band was going to be that stable. In many ways, we were coming back to The Posies after each being involved in so many things outside of the band.
“In 2004 alone, I was a part of making records with REM and Big Star but I also made a solo record and then made Every Kind Of Light,” he says. “But it’s not like we didn’t put care into making that Posies record and hadn’t applied our craft but I do feel like there is some kind of element missing from that album.”
Stringfellow says the time leading up to the making of Blood/Candy, including the song writing portion was much more deliberate and thought out on the band’s part. Auer says the fact that the band performing more frequently in the time leading up to the making of their newest record was a big boon to the end result as well.
“I think we had more time to refine ourselves and get better,” Auer says. “The songs on Blood/Candy had been worked to the n’th degree before we had set foot in the studio. We made sure that it was closer to the energy that we wanted to express.”
For the recording of Blood/Candy the group ventured overseas to Spain, a country which has had a long love affair with the Posies. There, Auer says the group lived in a house “20 metres from the front door of the studio”, allowing the band to eat, sleep and breathe the music they were making and in turn helping lay the foundation for one of their best studio efforts to date.
Stringfellow concurs with Auer’s statement, saying that many of these songs have a playfulness that is evident throughout the album.
“I think a lot of our past efforts were bogged down with moods and undertones that were happening outside of the studio. But I think that with Blood/Candy, there is a lot of joy to be heard in these songs.”
Like any long-term relationship, the bond between Auer and Stringfellow has endured its share of ups and downs over the past two decades but after a much-needed break towards the start of this century, Auer says the group is at a good place these days. Rather then making records because they “have to”, the band is in a position of making new music because they want to.
“It’s not like we have been staying together because we were getting rich, we are together because we really enjoy it. Today our relationship is much more functional and I think it is a by product of experience and time; it hasn’t always been like that.
“There has definitely been some real peaks and valleys within the band but things feel really fresh within the band again. I think it started with Every Kind of Light but with this record, it feels like we are coming into a second prime. It’s great to be around as long as we have been.”