"We played live," he says. "We layered some parts; We do make an effort to use the studio in the ways that shows can't be, but we still want that essence of what we sound like when we're playing together live. It's the latest chapter in the progression of our sound, and hopefully that shows in the music."
Bassist Travis Book, who co-wrote "Rise Sun" with Sarah Siskind, calls the track "a hopeful anthem" that came to him during an afternoon drive. "Initially it felt like a gospel or old spiritual tune," Book says. "I always felt the strong backbeat as the centerpiece for the feel of the tune. When Sarah and I sat down to write I sang her the melody and we wrote the verses. Then I came up with the melody for the chorus. We bounced around some ideas for chorus, but kept coming back to the simple idea that Sarah came up with: Rise Sun. The second verse is about the struggle to rise above suffering, the push pull of holding on and letting go; of hope, optimism, and faith -- in humanity, the unfolding, the process, God, whatever -- in the face of fear, negativity, and hopelessness and the need to continually return to the present, the eternal now."
As a title track, Pandolfi adds that "Rise Sun" is "also a greater theme for the album and a theme for our lives as we grow as people and really evolve and pay more attention to what's going on in the world. That's a theme that's been going on with us for years, but I feel like it's captured really well on the new album."
Rise Sun continues a prolific period for the Stringdusters, following from Laws of Gravity and the subsequent Laws of Gravity: Live! set, as well as an Undercover Vol. 2 EP featuring the group's versions of songs by the Cure, the Allman Brothers Band, Daft Punk, Marvin Gaye and more. Though the group maintains a busy live schedule -- the Stringdusters are currently on the road, with dates currently announced into July -- Pandolfi says the studio has become an even more integral part of the music-making balance now.
"We've been trying to crank out as much studio as possible amidst a business that's based primarily on touring," he explains. "We're pretty prolific; All five of us write and are sort of producers in our own sense. So we're trying to keep a steady stream of things rolling to accommodate the creative needs of five different people. There's a balance there, but we all are really passionate about the music, and the Stringdusters is by far our biggest outlet as musicians."
The track list for Rise Sun includes:
1. Rise Sun
2. Another Night
4. Long Time Going
6. Comin Again
7. Somewhere In Between
8. Carry Me Away
9. Last Of The Lucky Ones
10. If You’re Gonna Love Someone
11. Wake The Dead
12. Cloud Valley
13. Truth And Love