San Francisco post-punks Weekend have been touring hard behind their debut album Sports since it arrived on Slumberland Records in November 2010. Between seeing their track "End Times" promote the Showtime hit Dexter, touring with Wire, and suffering a van breakdown of panic-inducing proportions on the road with labelmates the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the noise-pop trio found time to pause and reflect. The result: a five-song EP titled Red due this fall.
"The goal for the EP was to remove some of the haze from the first LP and be up front about all the fucked up things that were happening musically and lyrically," says bassist/singer Shaun Durkan. "We've always been interested in indulgence and restraint and we tried to push that further with these recordings," adds guitarist Kevin Johnson. "Maybe this song doesn't have a guitar in it, or maybe we use a synthesizer or there's no distortion or no drums. We were pulling back to make everything a little more searing."
Slow-burning opener "Sweet Sixteen" and urgently bouncy "Hazel" were originally recorded during an all-night jam earlier in the year and refined during the band's sessions with producer Monte Vallier, who also helmed Sports. Durkan started fiddling with the lyrics of "Sweet Sixteen" in a tour van in Europe while thinking about his sister and dog, who had both turned 16 (the EP is named after the latter). "I was reflecting on the endless optimism of youth and impending doom of ageing," he explains.