In the music video for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s single "If You Didn't See Me (You Weren't On The Dancefloor)," a couple of beat cops are in search of the musical duo, who are camouflaged and hiding just beyond their grasp. Like the video, the electronic duo's sound offers up inviting pop hooks that are chock-full of gorgeous textures and impressive harmonies just below the surface. Stereotude caught up with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on their current North American tour.
"We got synths from Sweden. We got some old eighties synths. We use different instruments because it helps you grow," said Daniel Zott, one half of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
The group's latest album The Speed of Things, which was just released Tuesday, is an impressive assembly of infectious synth, as well as dense off-kilter folkiness. It's a confident release from the Detroit-bred twosome, boasting both approachability and insight.
"I make the music because I like hearing it. I make what I wanna hear," said Zott. "We do everything ourselves." The duo's hands-on recording style translates to bombastic sounds as well as a keen attention to detail.
"In general, Josh [Epstein] and I listen to and sort of gravitate towards artists with a strong songwriting craft, and not just because they sound cool or are sonically pleasing," added Zott.
This ambitious songwriting style is evident throughout The Speed of Things whose boisterous harmonies on tracks like "Run" are met with bubbly, soothing textures such as "Gloria," a tune that conjures the charm of Roy Orbison or Elvis Presley.
Now, after recording and rolling out the album, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are hitting the road to promote the album. Let it be known, they come baring gifts in the form of sparkly pop nuggets that reward the avid listener and somehow linger long after the song is over.
The album's tongue-in-cheek musings on relationships, time and love offer a thoughtful commentary on The Speed of Things. All things, from Zott's perspective, that can slip by if you're not paying attention.
"It's amazing how it flies by," said Zott from a tour stop in Boston. "And finally the rest of the world gets to hear it."