Royksopp Looks To The Future On New Album

Norwegian electronica duo Royksopp is eyeing a summer release for its as-yet-untitled sophomore album for Astralwerks, Billboard.com can exclusively reveal.

Norwegian electronica duo Royksopp is eyeing a summer release for its as-yet-untitled sophomore album for Astralwerks, Billboard.com can exclusively reveal. The set will be the follow-up to the pair's 2002 debut, "Melody A.M.," which spawned "Poor Leno" featuring Kings Of Convenience's Erlend Oye, a No. 5 entry on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

"I can tell you that this is definitely a sound which for us is more looking towards the future, than being as reminiscent of the past as our last album was," group member Torbjorn Brundtland tells Billboard.com from the studio. "Even though the last one was called 'Melody A.M.,' this one is even more about melody. For those who want the atmospheric pieces that were on our last one, they'll probably have to wait for the third album."

While they were touring extensively in support of the debut, Brundtland and colleague Svein Berge jotted down ideas "on anything that was in hand, even the recording option we have on our mobile phones," he says. "Because we were touring, we couldn't take them further at the moment. But we kept them, and now these pieces are coming together to form the new album."

Brundtland admits there will be "some boys and some girls on the album" but declined to name names, other than to say it will feature more tracks with vocals than its predecessor. "We always feel we have to move on and venture into things we really haven't done before," he adds. "Working with Erlend was a thing we hadn't done before when we did it, and we're trying to keep that attitude."

The group has tuned out recently released music while it has been working, in favor of a steady diet of "mostly classical music and old Brian Eno," according to Brundtland. "As it feels right now, we are going extremely into the sort of melodic, epic side of things, but the beats aren't as soft as they used to be."

Asked if Royksopp is moving in the new direction his comments seem to imply, Brundtland responds with a laugh, "It feels like we are. It's up to the people. I mean, some people never liked us anyway."

Royksopp is also excited to get back on the road, even though Brundtland says "we never considered ourselves live musicians. But it seems like the songs went down really well, no matter where we played. We have a very sparse setup, so to speak, but we feel energy is more important than having 20 people on stage."

In the meantime, the duo's production work can be heard on several tracks from countrywoman Annie's "Anniemal" (679 Recordings). Brundtland says Royksopp has also remixed an unnamed new Beck song, but it's unclear when that may be released. And for now, an album of remixes originally intended for a 2004 release will remain on the shelf.

"We just felt at that point that it was a bit premature to do it," he says. "When everything is sort of easily available, we feel it's sometimes worthwhile to make something for those people who really want to search out things. The remixes we've done have been that, so we wanted to keep them in that sort of sphere for awhile."