The Aces just wanted to get it right.
The Stateside band broke out in 2016, and then followed this with a stellar EP last year. Live shows displayed feverish potential, but they took their time recording a full album, want to get each detail in place.
'When My Heart Felt Volcanic' is the result of their labours. Out now, it's a sparkling pop offering, a highly independent new voice that arises from four musicians working in tandem.
It's pretty damn cool, as well; biting melodies, epic production, and clinical songwriting that packs a punch and knows when to step back a little.
We've been fans for a while, so we were only too happy when The Aces got in touch with a few sounds that helped fuel the album sessions…
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Paramore – 'Told You So' (As picked by… Cristal)
I LOVE THIS SONG. I am quite an obsessive listener and I typically digest music by playing the same album/songs over and over and over. When Paramore’s album 'After Laughter' came out, we were right in the process of finishing up our album.
I remember going to New York for a few weeks to do some final writing sessions and at the time I was feeling quite tortured in my romantic life. I was going through the beginnings of a long distance relationship and it was really tumultuous. I would blast ‘Told You So’ as a way to get out of my own head. That rhythm and the brutal sarcasm/honesty of Hayley William’s lyrics and voice gave me a moment to live in my pain while also trying to heal it.
It was a such a FEELING, such an emotion. It really inspired me to bring that same kind of driving emotion into the music we were writing and I would go into the studio everyday kind of floating on that cathartic aggression. That song made me kind of feel like we were all going through shit that was tearing us up, and if we were all going through it, then we would all come out on the other side.
I want to make anyone who listens to our music feel as much as I did when I listened to 'Told You So’.
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Tame Impala – 'The Less I Know The Better' (As picked by… Katie)
'The Less I Know The Better' by Tame Impala was a song that was really inspiring to me during the process of writing and creating our debut album. I love the way he records backing vocals and layers them to sound almost like a synth, we pulled inspiration from that a couple of times when recording harmonies and backing vocals.
It’s funny because if you listen to that song you’ll notice it doesn’t have any crazy guitar licks or even guitar in general really, but there’s something about the production and creativity in that song and in that album that I found really inspiring and innovative.
The bass line in that song is incredible. For me it was something that I felt like I’d never really heard before, and something that I can listen to on repeat and never get sick of. It really opened up my mind to new ideas and ways of playing and recording. I tried to maintain that idea throughout creating of the album!
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The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – 'I Feel It Coming' (As picked by… Alisa)
This song was referenced in multiple different song writing sessions! I think the solid percussion and groove are staples that fall in line with the sound of The Aces, it¹s so funky this track you can just sink into it and vibe out. It makes me feel so nostalgic, as well as the hook and honestly all the melodies through out are just so buttery and smooth. I absolutely love this song I wish we had written it, haha!
Both artists – The Weeknd and Daft Punk especially – were inspirational to us through out the whole writing process for this album; as far as melodies and vibes, Starboy had us stoked. Daft Punk inspired a lot of the funk elements as well.
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SZA x Calvin Harris – 'The Weekend' (Funk Wav Remix) (As picked by… Mckenna)
I loved all of Calvin Harris’ stuff that he released last year. The Funk Wav Bounces were the perfect epitome of summer and we were blasting them constantly while we were in LA finishing this record. I love the fresh and funky new tones he uses. It was so minimalistic and rhythm-driven and different than a lot of other pop that was playing on the radio at that time.
It reminded me so much of the 70’s funk era and some of my favorite artists like James Brown and Bootsy Collins. I love SZA’s smooth vocals on this track that incorporate a cool modern feel to an older style of music. I think that contrast is something we love to explore with our music too, since we pull so much inspiration from 80’s pop and new wave but try to keep our lyrics fresh and relatable.
I referenced the bass tone of this song specifically in our new recording of ‘Stuck' that is on the album. I wanted to bring a new groovy feel to that track. I was very inspired by the rhythm of the bass in all of Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav songs and pulled inspiration from them specifically in our song 'Bad Love'.
I really tried to channel my inner Bootsy on that track and had such a fun time getting FUNKY n FRESH! That was my favourite song to record bass on and I felt so inspired and grateful that I get to be a part of such a fun and creative project where I have the freedom to do that.
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The 1975 – 'Chocolate' (As picked by… the full band!)
‘Chocolate’ was a song that really inspired a specific song on our album called 'Last One’. It's always interesting when an artist opens up about specific songs or albums that inspired their process and getting to compare them to see if you hear the similarities. The rhythm and style of guitar playing in ‘Chocolate' is something we were really trying to emulate.
We have always been really inspired by The 1975 and their ability to marry rhythm and guitar so effortlessly. There is so much excitement in their music and the guitars always feel so satisfying. Hopefully ‘Last One' offers that same kind of satisfaction.
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The Aces' new album 'When My Heart Felt Volcanic' is out now.
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