Better Than Ezra, the New Orleans-based rock trio behind such ’90s hits as “Good” and “Desperately Wanting,” are back with a new studio album, and it’s streaming exclusively on Billboard ahead of its Sept. 9 release.
All Together Now (via The End Records) was produced by Grammy-nominated mixer/producer Tony Hoffer (Fitz and the Tantrums, M83, Beck, Silversun Pickups), who got the trio rocking out together throughout the recording process.
“We hadn’t actually all gotten in one room to record in such a long time,” admits frontman Kevin Griffin. “These days with digital recording, Pro Tools etc., you can really put an album together piecemeal… Tony Hoffer has a magical room in Highland Park, CA, and we just set up shop there. It’s no coincidence that the record has a vibrancy that I think our last album lacked.”
Aptly titled All Together Now, the new album isn’t a big departure for Ezra — the songs are quite catchy, they don’t take themselves too seriously, and they win big points for likability. It fits nicely into the BTE catalog.
Griffin explains how he poured influences new and old into his favorite tracks. “I find myself listening to ‘Insane’ a lot as well as ‘The Great Unknown.’ With ‘Unknown’ we were going for that Tom Petty ‘You Got Lucky’ vibe. I think we nailed it. Cool noir-ish drums samples and delays. Had to throw a tip of the hat to Tom in the lyrics. I’m also a big fan of ‘Undeniable,’ probably because it reminds me of Broken Bells… one of my favorite acts.”
And after all these years in the music business, don’t think that BTE don’t know how to have a blast while recording,
“We found out in short order that Tony Hoffer and his assistant Cameron were hardcore pranksters,” Griffin tells Billboard. “I mean like, barricaded bathroom doors, buckets of water over thresholds, etc. That said, we rose to the challenge and gave back as good as we got. Tony and his assistant Cameron finally had to raise the white flag. Score one for Ezra!”
In support of their eighth studio album, Better Than Ezra has U.S. tour dates lined up through late November, beginning Sept. 19 at San Francisco’s Bimbo’s 365 Club.
All Together Now can be pre-ordered on iTunes here.