Indigo Girls hope to make "something that's different and pushes us a little bit" when the duo hits the studio this fall to work on a new album, the duo's follow-up to 2011's "Beauty Queen Sister."
"We're writing," the group's Amy Ray tells Billboard. "We have a producer (Jordan Brooke Hamilin) we're talking to and we've got band members we're talking to. I've got a few songs. I think Emily's (Saliers) got more finished than me." Sessions are slated to run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 10, according to Ray, with Trina Shoemaker lined up to mix.
But, Ray adds, "We have no idea how we're going to approach it. (Hamilin) is a friend of ours; he did Lucy Wainwright Roche's last record ('There's a Last Time For Everything'), which is such a good record and produced so interestingly -- not that we want the same production, but we wanted to work with someone who could take us and find the seed of something that's different and something that pushes us a little bit. (Hamilin) is young and hasn't done that many projects. We thought it would be fun to work together."
Ray says that the Saliers songs she heard are definitely exploring new territory for the group. "I know Emily's interested in using some electronic, like, loops, beats, but not in a heavy way -- I think more in a pop kind of way. The few songs I've heard that she's writing, they're very catchy for one thing, so that's good. They're more pop than anything. Of course, she'll come up with five other ones that will be totally different." As for her material, Ray -- who released the country-flavored solo album "Goodnight Tender" earlier this year -- says, "I don't even know how to describe them. I've been very inspired by TV shows. 'Friday Night Lights,' I watched that whole series. 'Winter's Bone,' that movie, I watched it six times in month, so I'm being inspired by other people's art. I still draw from my own life, but I don't know musically where I'm at, really. We want to experiment with different treatments and rhythms and make it as musical as possible."
This year also marks the 25th anniversary of Indigo Girls' self-titled major label debut, for Epic records, but Ray says that "we're not really commemorating it, so to speak." The duo is doing a Tumblr blog, however, "where very month we write about one year of our lives together. We started at 19, so every month we post two or three pictures and write a little bit about what we remember. It doesn't cover everything, but we write what occurs to us first about that year. We're up to 1991 now, so that's what we're doing in terms of looking back."