Beat Connection's Reed Juenger on 'Hesitation,' Hospital Stays, and Walking Through the Woods

Seattle's dance mavens Beat Connection released its first new track in two years today.

"Hesitation" is just as groovy as anything on the band's previous outing 2012's ​The Palace Garden, but the track is a leap forward in rhythmic complexity for producer Reed Jeunger. Samples of flutes, laughs, squeals and soulful vocals weave in and out of each other in smooth, heady intervals that keep things funky and cerebral at the same time, all while lead singer Tom Eddy pleads that you "Don't think about it." It's all the headiness of Dirty Projectors' bookish R&B without the overly academic stop-start time signatures that keep you from fully and truly shaking your butt.

We chatted with Jeunger about the track, the inspiration behind it, and the group's upcoming album:

Your sampling has gotten much more adventurous on this new track—the layers are interwoven in a really unusual way. What prompted that new rhythmic experimentation? Is it indicative of what we can expect from the new album?

Rhythm and sampling have always been a big part of the Beat Connection sound and style, the new album is quite diverse, but in a word, yes. In truth the full length isn't quite done yet but we have written probably 30 songs that definitely will not be on the album, so we have been experimenting a lot. For this track it came down to trying to make a digital swing beat and essentially failing but working from there trying consciously to squeeze melody and rhythm into one coherent form so that the vocals and guitar could be the leading melody.

Tell me about the conceptual backing for “Hesitation”—you mentioned a bit that its about “making decisions in your own way.” Is there something that’s happened in your life that’s gotten you pondering action/inaction recently?

Well yeah, we have all been through a lot of changes in the last few years. It's a long story but I got really sick in October/November and I lost like a month just in and out of the hospital, so it sort of had me thinking about what am I/anyone else waiting for? What is the real value of anyone else's opinion? Obviously it matters, but people are really pretty obsessed with it. Maybe that's a non-sequitur thought on my part, but that's where I was at the time, and it was something we have all been talking and thinking about.

Above: Beat Connection's recording cabin.

I saw you recorded some of the new record in a cabin in the woods? Tell me a bit about that, what informed that decision.

We just went out there and walked around in the woods and worked on some tracks. We did it cause it sounded awesome, and it was. We didn't see anyone else for like 4 days.

​Am I correct in thinking "Hesitation" dropping means a new album is on its way soon?

Yes we got an album coming some day (sooner rather than later I hope).

​Beat Connection will be playing mainstage at this year's Capitol Hill Block Party, July 25-27.

 
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