Miike Snow headlines Belly Up Aspen on Tuesday
If You Go …
What: Miike Snow
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Tuesday, Aug. 2, 9 p.m.
How much: $68/GA; $125/Reserved
Tickets: Belly Up box office; www.bellyupaspen.com
After a few years of silence, Miike Snow returned last fall with the surprise single “Heart Is Full” and this spring dropped its first album in four years.
Titled “iii,” the comeback album from the trio of American singer-songwriter Andrew Wyatt and Swedish producers Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg — all of whom had kept plenty busy with side projects during the Miike Snow hiatus — is an adventurous record that brings the band to Belly Up Aspen on Tuesday night.
“iii” showcases a band unafraid to break the indie-pop mold and get a little weird, get people dancing and dabble in sounds from funk to Motown to hip-hop – along with the piano- and synth-pop of its two previous albums.
“The reason all of our records sound a little different from each other is we don’t try to have a specific goal when we do Miike Snow,” Wyatt said Friday before the trio’s evening set at Lollapalooza in Chicago. “The whole thing is supposed to be a free-for-all, and it sounds like it.”
“Trigger,” an unabashedly sexy piano-driven electro-disco dance number, Wyatt said, is his favorite to play live.
“It reminds me of being in Captain & Tennille or something,” he said with a laugh.
The record reunited the band after a hiatus of more than two years, following the release of 2012’s “Happy to You” and the long tour supporting it. Taking a step away from the project, Wyatt said, made it possible for Miike Snow to live on.
“It allowed us to get back to seeing what we enjoyed about doing Miike Snow together,” he said. “Two years before that, we could only see what was problematic about us working together.”
Leading with the hit single “Genghis Khan,” the album and national tour have been greeted ecstatically by fans.
“We’re really lucky to have a very supportive fan base that’s willing to adapt to those changes we make in our sound,” Wyatt said. “We just make the record — we don’t have an agenda when we go in to do the record. We just trust our instincts, and that’s when the music seems more enjoyable to us. And that’s when people catch that infectious quality — it comes from us being free.”
Wyatt lived in Vail in the early 2000s before his music career took off, a period in which he contemplated — and briefly pursued — a life as an opera singer. He made frequent trips to Aspen Music Festival and School concerts in the summers to take in vocal and orchestra performances.
“I always dreamed about playing in Aspen — no kidding — after that because it was such a magical experience,” he said.
He may not be performing an opera at the Wheeler Opera House or singing arias in the Benedict Music Tent, but Wyatt is looking forward to Miike Snow’s Aspen debut in the cozy confines of Belly Up. Big festival stages may offer a big canvas and predictability, he said, but there’s nothing like the intimate experience of a packed club.
“(A festival) standardizes the show to the point where it makes it easy to do close to a flawless show,” he said. “But I think I enjoy the small club shows more — just being close to everybody in the band and everyone in the audience is really nice.”
Outside of Miike Snow, Wyatt has collaborated with the likes of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars as a producer and writer, earning a Grammy nomination for Mars’ “Grenade.” But for now, Miike Snow is his musical home. Wyatt said the trio is already at work on a handful of one-off songs they hope to release in coming months, with plans for making an album next year.
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