×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Chvrches Slam Marshmello for Working With

    Chvrches Slam Marshmello for Working With Chris Brown and Tyga

    Chvrches took to social media today to criticize collaborator Marshmello for working with Chris Brown and Tyga on his new single, “Light It Up.” “We are really upset, confused and disappointed by Marshmello’s choice to work with Tyga and Chris Brown,” the band tweeted. “We like and respect Mello as a person but working with [...]

  • Eastwood Recalls Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’

    Eastwood Recalls Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’ Last Days, and Working With Tupac

    On April 25, 2002, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — one-third of the hip-hop-soul girl group TLC — died in a car accident in Honduras at the age of 30. West Coast rapper and actor Eastwood worked with Left Eye on her “Nina” solo project shortly before her death, and also worked with another icon who [...]

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

  • Brie Larson Takes On 'Beat Saber'

    Brie Larson Takes on 'Beat Saber' With Jimmy Fallon

    “Avengers: Endgame’s” Brie Larson took to “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” to play around in virtual reality. After chatting with Fallon about the upcoming Marvel superhero flick, Larson got hooked up with an HTC Vive with the talk show hit to give “Beat Saber” a try. Fallon was first up, who played through a [...]

  • Universal Music Hires JJ Corsini and

    JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian Join Universal Music in Global Artist Development Roles

    Universal Music Group today announced that JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian (pictured above, right and left, respectively) each have been named Senior Vice President, Artist Development, effective Wed., May 1. They join from Apple Music, where they served as key members of the company’s Global Artist Relations team since the launch of the streaming service. [...]

  • Martin Scorsese's 'Rolling Thunder' Bob Dylan

    Martin Scorsese's 'Rolling Thunder' Bob Dylan Doc Hits Netflix June 12 (EXCLUSIVE)

    You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows, but Bob Dylan fans have been waiting for some kind of reliable forecast to know when “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” might be rolling in. Here’s that storm alert: Netflix will be releasing the documentary June 12. [...]

  • Offset, Cardi B. Offset, left, and

    Cardi B and Offset Join Muzik Founder Jason Hardi for Brilliant Minds Conference

    Muzik founder Jason Hardi is scheduled to speak alongside Cardi B and Offset at the Brilliant Minds Conference, taking place in Stockholm on June 13 to 15. The symposium centered around the intersection between culture and technology was founded by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. They join previously announced speakers Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content