Which was precisely the goal, as Johnson told MTV News earlier this year.
"With the technology these days, you can look at music instead of listening to it sometimes," he said. "You can look and say, 'Oh yeah, see, the bass drum doesn't line up with the guitar hit there, let's move that.' [And] we tried not to do that on this one. Sometimes, when things don't line up, it actually makes it them better. You listen to old records, when they didn't have the capability of cutting things together, that's the magic of it. ... It reminds you that it's humans doing it."
And Sea is very much a human record, full of crackling instrumentation and Johnson's ruminations on life, love and spirituality. The title track explores "the archetype of the wild man ... deep down in the mind, waiting to be discovered." First single "You and Your Heart" is about the internal struggle between the heart and the brain — "That area you get in sometimes, where you stop trusting your heart and you start thinking too much," as Johnson put it. And "At or With Me," well, it's just a fun, funky tune, recorded live and left untouched.
"That's a really fun track," Johnson said. "We did it one time, thinking it was just demo-ing. ... It was one take, one time, and that's the tone on the album."
All in all, there's a whole lot of energy on To the Sea. But why bother reading about it when you can hear the album for yourself? Though it doesn't hit stores until June 1, you can hear it right now over on The Leak. Consider it an early, and very human, start to your summer.
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