Gigwise exclusive...
Holly Frith

13:50 3rd February 2012

Band of Skulls will release their new album. 'Sweet Sour' through Electric Blues Recordings on February 20 – the band have given Gigwise an exclusive track by track.

The 10-track album was recorded at Rockfield studios in Wales with producer Ian Davenport and mixed in Los Angeles by Nick Launay (Nick Cave / PIL / Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

'Sweet Sour' is the follow-up to the band's acclaimed 2009 debut  'Baby Darling Doll Faced Honey',.

Catch Band Of Skulls live opening for the Black Keys February 9 and 10 at London's Alexandra Palace. And at their headline show at London's Roundhouse on March 6.

Band of Skulls’ Track by Track for Gigwise:

This was the last song to be finished on the record and in the studio. Everyone knew it had potential but needed that extra vocal quality. It was a triumphant finish.

Lay My Head Down
It was a song that we had to change from being a quiet song. It has a real heavy middle section which will hopefully take people by surprise. This is the first time we've done a real three part harmony; it has a real Laurel Canyon California feel.

The Devil Takes Care of His Own
Devil Takes Care of His Own is the track that links the first album with the second. It's probably the most collaborative of the album – there was an equal split between the writing.

An idea for a song that came from a long time ago. It came from the first album but we took a long time to realise all the subtleties to make it work. It was a conundrum rather than a natural feel to work out.

Another song that was nagging to be finished so we took a long time. We had lots of different versions and in the end we found the perfect template to work from. Its intended to be a song that just builds throughout. It holds the record for the most chords in any one of our songs.

You Aint Pretty But You’ve Got it Going On
We decided to see how heavy a song we could make and the most extreme thing we could do but also to retain it as a blues song, something with an edge. We played it a live few times and the audience reacted really well to it. It's the fastest tempo on the record and that we've ever done so it's really relentless.

It's a song we tried in many different ways; the simplest version made it on the record. it's all about the lyrics and the melody so it was simplified down to just that. It's got a Mellotron for all the Beatles experts out there.

This was the first song that was we recorded and the first one we did in the studio so it really set the tone. After Nick Launay mixed it, it gave us a feel of how the rest of the record would sound.

Close to Nowhere

Its the close of the album it's a song that really developed in the studio. We recorded it in the early hours of the morning over plenty of red wine. You have to listen to it late at night to appreciate it.