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Led by multi-instrumentalist and producer Joseph Mount, Metronomy has grown from a scrappy, lo-fi side project into one of the more creative acts mixing rock and electronic music. Drawing on influences ranging from Devo and David Bowie to N.E.R.D. and Pavement, Mount established Metronomy as an equally catchy and unpredictable act with 2006's Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe). The project's later albums, such as 2011's Mercury Prize-nominated The English Riviera, were smoother and more sophisticated, but still incorporated unexpected elements that ranged from the Motown and blue-eyed soul homages of 2014's Love Letters to the retro-futurism of 2019's Metronomy Forever. With projects like 2021's hip-hop-inspired Posse EP, Vol. 1 and the deceptively sunny pop of 2022's Small World, Mount continued to push Metronomy's creative boundaries while keeping his witty melodies, songwriting, and production at the forefront. Named after the musical term for the measurement of time by an instrument, Mount started Metronomy in 1999 as a side project to the other bands he played with, using an old computer that his father gave him to record songs. Metronomy's first full-band lineup also included keyboardist/saxophonist Oscar Cash and keyboardist/bassist Gabriel Stebbing. Prior to Metronomy, Mount and Stebbing played together in acts such as the Upsides, a pop group the pair described as "the original Busted," and the Customers, with whom they played in university. When his cousin Cash joined Metronomy, it became the trio's main project. The band earned buzz for their engaging live shows as well as official and unofficial remixes of tracks by Gorillaz, Architecture in Helsinki, Sebastien Tellier, Kate Nash, U2, and Britney Spears. Metronomy self-released an EP early in 2002, and after a DJ gig in Brighton, Mount connected with the founder of Holiphonic Records, which released Metronomy's debut single, "You Could Easily Have Me," in late 2005. For June 2006's debut album Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe), Mount drew inspiration from artists ranging from Aphex Twin and Kraftwerk to Frank Zappa and Talking Heads. Following a deal with Because Music, Metronomy issued the single Radio Ladio on the label's Need Now Future imprint in November 2007. The next September saw the release of their second album, Nights Out. A set of songs revolving around disappointing nights on the town, the album included more contributions from Cash and Stebbing. Thanks to singles such as Heartbreaker and My Heart Rate Rapid, Nights Out introduced Metronomy to a wider audience; the album was eventually certified double silver, having sold over 40,000 copies throughout Europe. The Not Made for Love EP followed in 2009, the same year that Stebbing left Metronomy to focus on his other project, Your Twenties. Bassist Gbenga Adelekan and former Lightspeed Champion drummer Anna Prior joined the fold for April 2011's The English Riviera, which boasted a sleeker sound than the band's previous work. Recorded in London and Paris, the album was a commercial and critical success, reaching number 28 on the U.K. charts, selling more than 60,000 copies, and earning them a Mercury Prize nomination. Mount and crew went in a very different direction for Metronomy's fourth album, March 2014's Love Letters. Taking inspiration from acts such as the Supremes, the Zombies, and Sly & the Family Stone, the band recorded at Toe Rag, an all-analog London studio frequented by indie rock bands such as the White Stripes and the Cribs. The singles "I'm Aquarius" and "Love Letters" -- which boasted a video directed by Michel Gondry -- signaled the album's mix of vintage warmth and cutting-edge pop ahead of its March 2014 release. The set peaked at number seven on the U.K. albums chart, their highest position to date. For Metronomy's next album, Mount changed course again, booking a studio just outside Paris and writing and recording a set of songs by himself within two weeks. The funky Summer 08, which reflected on the exuberance of the Nights Out era and featured collaborations with Mix Master Mike, Erol Alkan, and Robyn, arrived in July 2016. Mount then worked with Robyn on her acclaimed 2018 album Honey, co-writing and producing several of its songs. Following Mount's move from Paris to the English countryside, Metronomy returned in September 2019 with Metronomy Forever. Featuring production assists by Mr. Oizo and Pierre Rousseau, the album spanned new wave-inspired pop songs to amorphous synth experiments and reached number 15 on the U.K. Albums Chart. Two years later, Metronomy released the Posse EP, Vol. 1, a project in the vein of Handsome Boy Modeling School that found Mount collaborating with artists including Biig Piig, Pinty, Sorry, and Brian Nasty. Mount and company returned in February 2022 with Small World, a concise, optimistic set of songs written and recorded during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
© Heather Phares /TiVo
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