Anna Lunoe Gets Her Groove Back In 'Right Party' EP Track Breakdown: Exclusive
If there's one thing Anna Lunoe has learned over the years, it's that she doesn't have to be anything more than herself. Her four-track EP Right Party, out Friday (June 14) on Mad Decent, is a celebration of simple, straight-forward electro-house grooves. It's rowdy, it's a little weird, but mostly it's just plain fun.
It's a back-to-basics collection of tunes that adds up to a serious win. Not too long ago, Lunoe suffered from a serious case of burn out. She was DJing, producing, hosting her a radio show and becoming a mother. Even before she was pregnant, she had trouble mining inspiration in the studio. She'd stare at her screen and try to force sonic circles into squares.
"I didn't know what to say," she tells Billboard. "I was going through a transitional point in my life, and I didn't know what I was on an outward-facing level anymore. I was changing and evolving into something else. I found it really had to create during that time, and I sort of stopped trying."
But she refused to give up. After giving birth to her daughter Willa, she got back in that studio with a fresh approach.
"I had to sort of relearn and get rid of some [things] that weren't working anymore," she says. "It's the new things that were exciting me. Every producer has their limitations, and instead of pushing up against my limitations, I wanted to embrace them; keep it simple and straightforward, do what I do best and just make it consistent. It took me a while to get my studio chops back. This EP is me having fun in the studio again, just wanting to make songs that are super simple, super fun and very playable."
Read on as Lunoe takes us through the stripped-down sounds of Right Party in celebration of who she really is.
Sometimes in my studio, I do little topline afternoons where I'll just drag a whole lot of different beats into one session and bounce around from beat to beat, come up with idea after idea. I came up with that little vocal idea in one of those sessions, and then the next day, I was in the studio and I thought I could do a cool little beat using a 303 bass. I spent two hours, made a breakdown and a drop, and then that night, I couldn't sleep. I got up in the night, went downstairs on the couch with my headphones and played with the songs. I did a full layout of it and just got the beat sounding good. The next morning, I listened back like, “This is working!” I sent it to a friend right away. The subject was “proof of concept,” like "does this sound good?" And they were like, "It's a song."
It was really inspiring, because it reminded me how fast good ideas can come together. It doesn't need to be overthought. I've had some experiences with songs where I've spent months and weeks tweaking and squirming and pushing sounds, trying to manipulate them to sound right. This is a real reminder that it doesn't always have to be like that. When songs are really hard to pull together, you can get frustrated and anxious, and you get stressed every time you open the session. It starts to feel like a chore. This is a reminder that it can also be really fun and sweet, and that was what inspired me to keep at it, try to turn up every day and try to make something fun.
“What You Need” with Wuki
It's starts out pretty straightforward and then it get lurkier and creepier, more twisted. Me and Wuki have dropped in the studio a bunch of times trying to make something. We've had a few false starts. This one, we just went with the idea. Wuki is a master, he can make so much different stop. My journey with Wuki on this one was knowing when to stop. Every time we'd leave the studio, he'd keep fiddling with it and send me a new version. I'd be like, "No! The first version was the best one!"
We just kept going back and forth. Basically, what we did in our second section is what the song is. Other than that, we just laid it out and finished all the little bits and pieces, but it's super simple and it's really effective. It's a mood for sure. It's textural, isn't it?
This one was complicated to get whipped into shape. I started it with [songwriter] Rob Ellmore (Kygo's "Not OK") who lives on my street. We were just fooling around doing stuff, and the vocals just came out. It reminded me of a filter house vibe. I borrowed my friend Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur's bass station, which is this bass kit I also used on the Flume [“Say It”] remix I did a couple years back. I really like having a piece of hardware in the studio and playing with that. That's where the bassline came from. It all eventually came together, but it took a few ideas. That was the most complicated one.
This one's for all the creeps of the world. “Creep” was the last one to come together. I had about six tracks I was working on for this, but some of them were more vocal heavy, and one of them I worked on with [Australian singer] George Maple (Flume "That Look," what So Not 'Gemini"). She wrote a really cute vocal, and it was just going to take a long time to make those tracks work. I wanted to go in the studio and see if I had one little club idea I could do for a fourth track. I was having so much fun, really enjoying the process of building it. That's another one that came together really quickly. Very simple, very creepy and very fun to play.
Getting the songs in the set is the big step. Getting them out is cool, because it means other people can play them. Hopefully people listen to them and they get on playlists; all that kind of thing. For me, as a DJ, the coolest thing is when I get to play them. These are really just made to play. If people are enjoying them and playing them, that's what makes me happy.
Fans can catch Lunoe rockin' these beats and more as she hits festivals nationally and abroad. She'll throw down at Fuji Rock in Japan, Mysterland in the Netherlands, and HARD Summer in Los Angeles. Right Party is out now on Mad Decent. Listen to it below.
Tune in to Lunoe's Instagram takeover today, June 14, by following us at @billboarddance.