The Polyphonic Spree’s frontman and mastermind Tim DeLaughter has big plans for 2013 including the Spree’s first original studio album in six years. The as-of-yet untitled record is currently being mixed for a general release this May, preceded by an April issue for Kickstarter backers. Tim also plans to tour the Spree extensively throughout the year and dreams of building the largest band in the world. He recently explained to MTV Hive:
“I have one of the largest touring bands but I want to make it bigger.”
“To start I’d like to get every member that’s ever been with Polyphonic Spree, which is over a hundred people, and play a huge show. But that’s just the seed-planting. The big goal, the big plan is to get as many singers and musicians as I can to come to Central Park, to be in the world’s largest band, which I will conduct and orchestrate from a hot air balloon floating overhead.”
Before these projects though there’s the You+Me live album recorded on May 23, 2012 at New York’s Webster Hall. The entire group was in high spirits that night, visibly exuding enthusiasm and compassion throughout (I know because I attended and was the sole non-crew/band member at the soundcheck before). With inventive staging they played most of their signature material plus a medley of tunes from The Who’s Tommy (check that concert’s setlist at right). Both the live album and a DVD of the same concert – one of the final shows from last Winter/ Spring’s “You + Me” tour – are expected by Kickstarter donator any day now. A rough cut of the concert documentary’s intro is below:
After 2007’s Fragile Army tour the Polyphonic Spree went on semi-hiatus with performances limited to just a handful of Australian dates and one-off American shows. They returned with new music in 2011 in the form of the Bullseye app for iOS devices, a collaboration with Moonbot Studios. Described on iTunes as “the first single… from a collection of songs [and] an interactive, character-based narrative music video,” it allowed users to “play through an expansive and changing world as You-Me, a small creature striving to find his way in the world. Bring plants and creatures to life in a video where you see, hear, and touch the world around you.” Though no new original music has surfaced since “Bullseye,” the band has continually said their first studio album of original material since The Fragile Army was in the works.
In the final weeks of 2011 the Spree regrouped for their Holiday Extravaganza, and a Dallas House of Blues New Year’s Eve Spectacular (bringing back Joe Butcher on pedal steel, Rick Nelson’s orchestral strings, Toby Halbrooks on theremin and Ricky Rasura on harp). Throughout the first half of 2012 their most comprehensive touring in years followed: three legs of their “You + Me” tour, covering every region of the continental United States. In recent months the Spree has been been preoccupied with holiday themed activities (Halloween’s performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in London, the Holidaydream album and videos, the Holiday Extravaganza tour) and a Kickstarter campaign to fund the above mentioned releases and their ambitious touring plans.