×

The Band Perry Emerge Out of ‘Dark Period’ With Rick Rubin-Aided Electronic Sound (EXCLUSIVE)

The ex-country darlings enlisted Rubin as executive producer for "Coordinates,” their first batch of new songs in almost six years, out this Friday.

Whatever happened to the Band Perry? After the hit sibling country trio made a controversial move into pop, the threesome suddenly disappeared completely off the radar, with even their social media accounts turning into ghost sites about a year ago.

“Yes, it’s been the great mystery of our time,” says singer Kimberly Perry, maybe only half-kiddingly. “It’s like The Band Perry and Bigfoot — do they exist?”

One of those two enigmas becomes clear today. Variety can exclusively reveal that the Band Perry will return this Friday with a five-song digital EP, “Coordinates,” the first time they’ve released anything greater than a single at a time since their sophomore album, “Pioneer,” five and a half years ago. It’s on their own Artrat imprint, which they started after severing ties first with country label Republic Nashville/Big Machine and then Interscope, to whom they were briefly signed for a pop deal.

The executive producer on the new music is legend Rick Rubin, and his participation serves as a private if not public reunion, since six years ago he produced an entire album for the group that was shelved by Big Machine. And if you thought the mixed reactions to their going pop were going to send them back to country radio with their tails between their legs, you guessed wrong… very wrong. The sound of “Coordinates” is so unapologetically electronic it makes their previous couple of unabashedly pop singles sound like vintage Carter Family sides by comparison.

“We’re just so proud of everything that we’ve spent the last little while building,” Kimberly Perry tells Variety. “And I think the other pervasive feeling is freedom to put out music in the way that we’ve always desired to — not just the sound of it, but even the construction how to get it out quickly and directly to the folks whose ears we’re reaching for” — meaning they plan on releasing EPs in this vein rather than full albums in the near term. “I think so much of the dark period, if you will, was time spent constructively, and I really feel like everybody’s going to love it.”

The five songs mark a departure even from their most recent departure, as the big, anthemic overtones of the transitional singles “Live Forever,” “Comeback Kid” and “Stay in the Dark” have given way to subtler, more personal material, the electronic trappings notwithstanding.

“We were listening to a lot of very minimal but big sounds, so there was a lot of German electronic music we were listening to,” says Kimberly. “Honestly, we dipped back into ‘Yeezus’ by Kanye. Trent Reznor has this project that’s called How to Destroy Angels… and of course we’re big Mike Dean fans as well” — Dean being one of the outside producers they met with and got advice from before deciding to do it themselves, with Rubin as guru. “We went and studied a lot of that music, and on the way to the studio in the morning, we would be playing very specific things to inspire the mood of the day. And so I think that the sound on the project is sort of like minimal brutalism — which, yes, was absolutely what we were feeling in our lives,” she notes, alluding to not only a battery of professional changes but a recent divorce in her life. “It was like, yeah, there’s some brutal things happening, but we’re all just moving toward simplicity and impact.”

Adds Kimberly, “We did talk about, what are the pieces of ourselves that we see in this music that we saw in both of our LPs and country…? One thing that I feel proud of is that even with all of the crazy sounds, like bringing in a Moog and some 808s and some drum programming, is that the song always remains. That’s been some really great continuous advice from Rick, too, as we challenge different parts of the song to make them better: Hey, does this one hold up on guitar and piano?”

Reuniting with Rubin wasn’t the only big switch the Band Perry has made behind the scenes while everyone was wondering whether they were sequestered with Sasquatch. They went through a management change last year, too, hooking up with Phil McIntyre’s Philymack after a long association with Coran Capshaw at Red Light and country stalwart Bob Doyle before that.

See the cover art for “Coordinates” below.

Band Perry album art
CREDIT: Courtesy of Artrat

More Music

  • Greyson Chance -Gabby Barrett Alejandro Aranda

    Greyson Chance, 'Idol' Alums Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda Sign Major Label Deals

    Two “American Idol” alumni — Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda — as well as viral star Greyson Chance all announced new major label recording contracts this week. Barrett, who finished in third place of the first season of the rebooted ABC version of “Idol,” has joined the roster of Warner Music Nashville. The singer had [...]

  • BTS World

    BTS World Mobile Game From K-Pop Group Rockets to No. 1 Spot on App Charts Worldwide

    BTS, the biggest K-pop group in the world, now has the biggest app in the world. “BTS World,” a mobile simulation game that lets fans virtually become the South Korean pop stars’ manager, quickly rose to the top of Apple’s App Store charts in multiple countries just hours after its release on Wednesday, June 26. [...]

  • Disney Pandora World Of Avatar, Lake

    The Piano Guys Play 'Avatar' Theme in Disney World (Watch)

    The YouTube sensation The Piano Guys have taken a trip to the world of Pandora for a performance of the theme to “Avatar.” Shot in the bioluminescent floating forest in Disney World, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and pianist Jon Schmidt put their spin on the score to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster. The video immerses the [...]

  • usa, california, palm springs, windmills san

    Agua Caliente, Oak View Group Partner to Build New Arena in Palm Springs

    A new sports and entertainment arena is coming to downtown Palm Springs. Today it was announced that the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Oak View Group (OVG) will partner to build a new state-of-the-art sports and live entertainment venue. Live Nation Entertainment also boards as a strategic partner. The venue’s capacity will seat at [...]

  • MadonnaThe Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the

    Madonna Revives Nightmarish Imagery of Orlando Nightclub Massacre in New Music Video

    Any thoughts that Madonna’s provocative streak might be taking a time-out in 2019 were put to a halt with her release Wednesday of a new music video for her song “God Control,” which portrays a bloody massacre in a nightclub and is peppered with slogans advocating for gun control. Filmed by director Jonas Åkerlund largely in [...]

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content