Robert DeLong is back and has released his third album called In The Cards. It’s been over two years since DeLong has released a full length album, and the former drummer is looking to take his sophomore album to the next level. Each song contains his signature funky electronic sound and we can’t stop listening to it!
Robert sat down with us recently and talked about how he made the album come to light. The writing process started with his laptop and headphones while traveling. The whole album took about 18 months to make, and three or four of those months were spent on the road.
Robert DeLong on the making of In The Cards
"It took place over about 18 months, and I was on the road probably a good 3/4 of the writing process. The songs started in my laptop and headphones as I was in airplanes, or vans, or buses, and then I'd come home and flesh out the ideas. Then I worked with a lot of other producers and writers in writing sessions to refine and create new ideas for about 60% of the songs. Then it all finally came together in February of this year, and was finished up by March. Now it's getting released. So, it's exciting."
In The Cards is an interesting name for Robert's new album, and he explains that the idea behind the album title came from tarot cards. He tells iHeartRadio that he thought about each song on the album as being its own as its own card.
On the meaning of the album title In The Cards
"It all came from the title track, which was the first track that was written on the record, and ended up guiding me, thematically in a lot of ways. The first track, it kind of came about because I was just really fascinated by the art on tarot cards. I've never been a very supernatural person in any sense, but I was really into ... there's this sort of mythic element to the art, and you look at it, and you think, 'Man, there's a lot of meaning here that you can derive from this. Then, I started thinking a lot about the different ways that people use symbols like tarot cards, or whatever, in their lives to subconsciously create meaning, and find ways to solve their life problems, without them even knowing it, in a way. To me, I took that and ran with it, and thought about each song as its own card. A symbol to help somebody work through some idea, whether it's about religious hypocrisy, or jealousy, or whatever. I think maybe that's a little bit of a high-fluting way to think about it, but it was certainly a way for me to feel inspired, and garner inspiration for each of these tracks."
The album's newest single is "Don't Wait Up," and Robert explains that he started the song while on a long flight from Australia to the U.S., and then had a little inspiration from his friends, Youngblood Hawke, during a writing session in L.A.
On how his single from the album "Don't Wait Up" came to life
"'Don't Wait Up' was started on an airplane flight, a really long airplane flight. Just the electronic parts of the track, from Australia to the U.S. Then, a couple months later, I went to a writing session with my friends Youngblood Hawke, who lives in Los Angeles. We were talking a lot about the fact that we're the kind of people that like to lock ourselves in our studios, and we'll lose track of time, and it'll be nine in the morning, and we've been working all night, and our girlfriends will come walking in, and be like, 'Hey, it's time to get breakfast, what are you doing?' So to me, that was the initial inspiration from that. And then we tried to expand the meaning so it could be a little bit more broad, and you could think about it in a lot of different ways. But, the basics of creative insomnia, and where that comes from."
Aside from "Don't Wait Up," there many great songs on In The Cards, and Robert explains to iHeartRadio that one of the more personal songs for him on the new album is a song called "Pass Out."
On his most personal track on the album
"I think the song that's the most personal to me is the song 'Pass Out.' It's the second-to-last tune on the record, and it's a tune [that is] that moment when you're falling asleep after a long day, and the thoughts running through your head, and the way you feel. My life is so crazy, being on the road. You're constantly traveling, doing different things, and when you have those moments to chill out and reflect, I think those are, to me, really important and nostalgic. So I think to me that's kind of the most personal moment on the record."
Photo: Getty Images
"Pass Out" may be one of the more personal songs on In The Cards for Robert, but one of the more special moments while creating the album came while making a song called "That's What We Call Love."
On recording the final track on the album "That's What We Call Love"
"There was a really great moment when I got to record the very last tune called 'That's What We Call Love.' I got to record strings and piano on that song, and I'd written all these string arrangements, and when it came together, I didn't know how it was going to sound because I hadn't written string parts since college, when I was forced to. I think it actually ended up sounding really cool, once it had a basic mix on the tune, I was like, 'Wow, this will be a great way to end the record.' I think people will actually feel like there's a conclusion here. So to me, that was one of the most interesting parts. Finishing the end of the record, which, ironically, I think that was maybe the second song that was actually finished and mixed."
"That's What We Call Love" is the last song on In The Cards, but the first song is the title track. Again, the tarot cards that inspired the album's title, also inspired "In The Cards" the song.
On the background of his title track "In The Cards"
"'In the Cards' was the first tune I started playing live. It was the first new tune I injected into the set, and it just came from the initial inspiration, the art on tarot cards. I just thought it was so interesting, and dissecting it, and trying to create a metaphor for someone who is in a depressive state, and trying to figure out a way to deal with it. That's the initial inspiration for that track. And you can hear it, it's pretty specific in the way it goes through each of the different cards, and the spread that's laid out for this person. But also, I really wanted something, because I used to ... as an intro to the set, I wanted something that was cinematic and sprawling, and I ended up with this weird, left-of-center take on big-room house. I think it's a cool starting point for the record."
Photo: Getty Images
One thing you will notice with Robert DeLong's new album, is that it pulls in influences from many different genres. From R&B, to drum and bass, to house, to pop -- there is something for everyone on there.
On using different genres to create In The Cards
"With this album, I wanted to accomplish a couple of different things. Sonically, definitely I wanted to do a lot of different things with genre. There's lots of different things on this album, everything from slow-motion hipster R&B jams, to folk guitar over drum and bass, to house tunes with pop melodies on top. But then, from a lyrical, thematic sense, I wanted to make sure that everything was loosely tied together, touching on the themes of fate, and how we deal with that, but in a really diverse and interesting way, looking at it from a lot of different perspectives. I think of each song as kind of being its own perspective on that."