Des Moines-based band The Maytags, who have been blending soul, funk, and jazz for years, are releasing a new album this summer.
"Meriweather," due on June 28th, will be the band’s second full-length album. It follows their first full-length album "Lovelines," and the EP "Nova." The new record is co-produced by lead vocalist and guitarist Dustin Smith and Jon Locker of Sonic Factory Studios in Des Moines.
"You build the history of your heart from a million pieces, starting with an idea of what a million pieces look like when they're not a heart," says Smith about how he thinks about making music with the band.
"That is how a Maytags' song works as well," he says, "a saxophone glissando passed out on a pile of unsent letters, a ride cymbal swinging around the block in 6/8, a ghost note chain-smoking away from the bass."
The Maytags have made several live appearances on Iowa Public Radio, have played sets at 80/35, and gig at many of the state's live music venues.
They wrote the songs for the new album in a cabin outside Panora and recorded it at Sonic Factory and Future Condo Studios in Minneapolis.
"We took a week out of our busy schedules this last fall to shack up in a cabin and really hash out a lot of these tunes and ideas that have been evolving over the last two years," Smith explains.
The band’s album "Lovelines" is unique in that they recorded it to analogue tape instead of using digital techniques. In the making of "Meriweather," they used new technolgy to record. On this new album, you're going to hear synths and vibraphones, which is a new sound for the Maytags.
"In the past I tried hard to capture that vintage, analogue, and tape feel of a band," says Smith. "This album, I really wanted to challenge our sound and process and do something we haven't done before. I wanted to incorporate different sounds like strings, synths, and vibraphones. I also brought in a load of guest artists to help build these songs and collaborate on new ideas."
In preview of the full album, The Maytags have released the single "Cities" with an accompanying music video.
The Maytags will be making an appearance at the Des Moines Arts Festival in June, and you can also catch them at Hinterland this August in St. Charles.