Spoon hit all the right notes at KCRW Apogee Session

Tuesday night at Santa Monica’s Apogee Studio, Austin alt-rockers Spoon shared some of their material from next Friday’s new record Hot Thoughts — as well as some old favorites. KCRW’s Anne Litt was quick to describe Spoon as “one of the best bands of their generation” — and while their name might not be the first to come to mind, their body of work really reflects them certainly being one of the most accomplished.

Litt would also note how many keep hailing whatever their new record is as their masterpiece, until the newest one comes out. If their preview of the material from Hot Thoughts on Tuesday is any indication, Litt was correct in asserting that it might be their masterpiece.

The band would play five songs from the new record (out March 17 via Matador), including the album’s title track and lead single. “Hot Thoughts” features lead singers Britt Daniel’s vocals echoed by one of his bandmates, producing an almost space-like quality to them. One thing that struck me is also how Daniel’s vocals remind me a bit of Roger Daltrey’s, despite being a Texan instead of British.

My favorite track Spoon played from their new record was “I Ain’t the One,” the one that closed their first set. I first heard the song when it appeared in a season 7 episode of Shameless on Showtime. It was easily the slowest-tempo track they played, and Daniel’s voice somewhat reminded me of Silverchair singer Daniel Johns.’

The set was broken up by an interview between Britt Daniel and KCRW’s Anne Litt. Though the interview was a bit disjointed at times, Daniel elaborated on the recording process for the record, which brought him first to Australia to write a lot of the record before going into studios in Austin and upstate New York. The singer also discussed how some of their music was debuted via the boarding music for American Airlines, though Daniel said it didn’t result in free upgrades.

The crowd for this session was full of die-hard Spoon fans, who sang along to back catalog favorites like “Rent I Pay” and “My Mathematical Mind” in the second half of the set. One of my favorite parts of Spoon’s set was Gerardo Larios on keyboards, a new addition to the band who Daniel lauded as fantastic during the interview portion.

Make sure to check out Spoon’s new record Hot Thoughts out next Friday. KCRW will broadcast Spoon’s performance on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on Wednesday, March 22 at 11:15 AM Pacific Time.

Photos courtesy of Larry Hirshowitz / KCRW