Ask any artist about the creative process, and they’ll all agree on one thing—you can’t force it. When inspiration gathers, you simply ride the wave and hold on for dear life. While writing Vikings, their third full-length album and first for DCD2 Records/Warner Bros. Records, the members of New Politics—David Boyd [lead vocals, guitar], Søren Hansen [bass, guitar, keys, programming] who came to the states from Denmark, and NY Native Louis Vecchio [drums]—embraced that spirit wholeheartedly. Without any deadlines or plan to speak of, the trio began writing songs for fun during 2014’s Monumentour with Paramore and Fall Out Boy.
“It wasn’t like anyone was expecting anything from us,” recalls David. “We would just go into the back of the bus and create songs. It came so naturally and fast that it was a blast. It took us back to when we were originally writing as kids. Back before we had no label or management or anything. It was simple.”
“We were together all the time, and everything was composed as a unit,” remarks Louis. “The vibe and the creative juices were flowing effortlessly on a daily basis.” As soon as they got off the road, the trio chose to record a good chunk of the material in David and Søren’s Brooklyn apartment. That proved apropos in and of itself as the two Denmark natives had completely adopted a “New York State of Mind” after four years stateside and a myriad of crazy experiences.
“There’s so much energy in New York, and Brooklyn specifically” says David. “There’s so much to write about and relate to. There’s so much color. You meet people. You meet girls. You find romance in the oddest of places. There’s all kinds of culture from a dance scene to a hip-hop scene to a rock scene. It always gives you something to ponder. We finally became a part of the environment and are reflecting that musically.” As a result, the new music threads together a patchwork of femme fatales who, as David admits, might be “crashing on my couch and barely wearing anything” like the vixen in “50 Feet Tall” or “choosing a girl instead of me” as happens during “Girl Crush.” The stories unfold in tandem with a soundtrack of danceable alternative that’s unafraid to pop or to rock for that matter.
Following the Brooklyn sessions, the boys hopped a plane to L.A. Under the palm trees and SoCal sun, they committed the other half of the album to analog tape in Butch Walker’s studio with longtime collaborator and Grammy Award-nominated producer Jake Sinclair [Weezer, Taylor Swift]. “Recording to tape gave it this authentic feel,” says David. “There’s a certain honesty and rawness you get from doing it like that. It was an amazing experience.” The opening track and first single “Everywhere I Go (Kings & Queens)” juggles a handclap-propelled guitar riff with a stadium-size beat and robust refrain. “It’s a pat on the shoulder to our fans and our team,” the frontman continues. “We’ve stuck with the dream, and they’ve stuck with all of our nonsense! We’re in this together.”
“It’s a nice way of being like, ‘We did it! I told you so,’” smiles Louis. “It’s dedicated toeverybody who stood by us in our corner and the fans who didn’t let go. We wanted to say thanks!” Meanwhile, the follow-up single “West End Kids” tempers shimmering keys with a heavenly and hypnotic chant of, “We’re just some kids from the West End.” David admits, “It’s the first chance we’ve had to reflect on this roller coaster. Soren and I started this project back in Denmark, moved to America, went through culture shock, spent every dollar we had, ended up with nothing, started from scratch once more, and built it all up again. Now, we wrote this summer party song that celebrates how far we’ve come and the part of Copenhagen (West End) that started it all.”
New Politics have certainly come a long way from Copenhagen. Developing his live persona and charisma as a young teen, David immersed himself in music by breakdancing as part of an internationally recognized touring dance crew. He naturally evolved into a singer, but never lost that kinetic spark while founding New Politics with Søren. If anything, he’s more likely to bust a move on stage now than ever. “I can’t help it,” he grins. “Music just makes me move.”
Relocating to New York, the group’s self-titled major label debut dropped in 2010 and featured the single “Yeah Yeah Yeah.” Its 2013 follow-up A Bad Girl in Harlem boasted the hit “Harlem,” which landed on multiple Frozen trailers as well as garnering placements for America’s Got Talent, Microsoft, and Taco Bell. Along the way, the group has toured with everybody from 30 Seconds To Mars and Neon Trees to P!nk and The Pretty Reckless in addition to selling out countless headline shows and hitting the stage on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!
Ultimately, the album title speaks to New Politics’ vision. “Soren and I always pick on Louis since he’s the only American, it’s two against one, and Louis started calling us Vikings,” chuckles David. “We keep reminding him. Now, we’re invading America, but not raiding it. We’re going to take over by love and sharing our music. We’re never going to force it though!”