Aaron Dessner has had plenty to keep him busy over the past year – prepping new album “High Violet” with his band The National and crafting a performance-music-art piece “The Long Count” with his brother Bryce not the least of these.
But the guitarist also spent time recently working with Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry on another project: crafting the debut album for Montreal-based singer-songwriter Little Scream, aka Laurel Sprengelmeyer.
“It”s gonna be a really great record,” Dessner said in our recent interview.
The collaboration between the three occurred when Parry and Arcade Fire were in New York to record some material for their forthcoming effort last fall. He and Sprengelmeyer stuck around to check out the Dessners” “Long Count” at the Brooklyn Arts Museum, and crashed at Dessner”s pad.
From his at-home studio, Dessner engineered and “plays sparkly guitar” on one new Little Scream track. “It’s turning out to be one of my favorite tracks for sure,” Sprengelmeyer told HitFix.
She went further in confirming that Parry is producing and playing on much of her album, which she expects to mix next week, to be finished by the end of May. “It’s pretty dynamic, by that I mean it goes from really kind of bombastic to really more quiet and has lots of different sounds in it,” she said. The as-yet-untitled album has been in the works for a year; those curious should stay tuned to her website
The collaboration round-robin didn”t stop there: Sprengelmeyer helped sing backup on The National”s “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and, as previously reported, Parry helped out on a handful of “High Violet” tracks, including “Conversation 16” and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.”
“Richie is… musically intimidating. It”s just a good experience,” Dessner said, adding he imagines that the two will eventually work on a bigger project together in the future.
Though Parry is helping with Little Scream and The National, Sprengelmeyer and Dessner conceded that they won”t be appearing on Arcade Fire”s third full-length, a long-awaited set with details still under wraps.
“If moral support counts, then yes, I’ve helped out with the Arcade Fire record,” Sprengelmeyer explains. “But not in any official capacity.”
“There”s a lot of people in that band. They have a very intense, full-on process on how they get things done,” Dessner said. However, don”t think that Arcade Fire and The National – former tour mates — will spend the summer touring season ignoring each other, as both take to the road. “We hope to drag Richie on stage at some point,” Dessner laughs.
You know when that perfect opportunity would be, guys? Chicago, August, Lollapalooza. The possibilities for that weekend are endless…
Check back with Immaculate Noise next week for the complete interview with Dessner, with more on “High Violet,” “The Long Count” and the 116 versions of “Lemon World.”
Follow HitFix”s Katie Hasty on Twitter for more music and movie news at /katieaprincess.