It’s Dan Auerbach Week in this corner of the musicsphere — you’ll be able to hear The Black Keys’ co-founder in the mix on the Dan and Dan Podcast, and he’s the guest of Talia Schlanger on World Cafe.
On Friday, Auerbach released his sophomore solo album Waiting on a Song; it was produced at his own studio, Easy Eye Sound, and released by his new label of the same name. The record is a product of Auerbach’s move to Nashville, where he tells Dan Reed during an interview at this year’s Non-COMM that “I’d lived in Nashville for eight years, and I had never done that songwriting thing that Nashville is known for. So I started doing it and I really fell in love with it. Then I sort of started recording those songs and that’s how this record happened.”
Auerbach maintained a strict schedule throughout the record’s creation process. He tells Talia Schlanger on World Café that he wrote Monday through Wednesday beginning at 9:30 a.m. every day, and then Thursday through Saturday he would cut and record tracks in his studio. This type of structure in turn created a huge output—200 tracks written and recorded, to be exact.
Of course, a 200-track record would not exactly be well-received by the masses, so some cuts had to be made. Auerbach tells Dan Reed that “I had a couple songs that I felt like I really wanted to be on the record, and so everything else I just made match or feel good with those two. ‘Waiting on a Song’ was the first one. I wanted it to be short so the songs had more room to speak.”
During both the writing and production phases, Auerbach collaborated with a number of big names that only a town like Nashville could bring together. The title track was co-written with the prolific songwriter John Prine—hear more about the collaborations in his spot on World Café.
One standout guest appearance is Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler in the musically-upbeat but lyrically-dark “Shine On Me.” Auerbach tells Reed that he never actually got to meet the legendary guitarist, but when he sent Knopfler the track in an email hoping to collaborate he received it back two days later with the guitar part recorded. “That’s kind of how this whole record was,” Auerbach said. “As soon as I took that break and put all my efforts into writing and making music I started meeting all these people, things started falling into place. It started to get weird.
On The Black Keys, Auerbach says “We’re just taking it easy right now—no plans to record again soon but I’m sure we will sooner rather than later.” There is currently no plan for a tour in support of Waiting on a Song (Auerbach says “I’m going to go back home and try to enjoy my life”), but it could be a possibility in the future. In the meantime, check out the new album and listen to Dan Auerbach’s appearances on the Dan and Dan Podcast and World Cafe.
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