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For brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery, home holds a certain kind of magic. The coastal Australian city where they grew up is more than the cradle of their youth – it was the soil for their dreams and the birthplace of their success. Australia was where they forged their breakout hit, ”Trojans,” which earned them a gold record and took Atlas Genius from studio project to critically acclaimed international act.
After a few months turned into two years on the road in support of their debut album, When It Was Now – after exploring distant towns in distant countries, pouring their souls out in theaters all over the world – home called. But back in Australia, the blank canvas the brothers faced reflected back two very different people from the ones who had crafted When It Was Now. In the time they had been away, they had created a new normal – built a new community, endured heartbreak, and seen the world. ”
All of a sudden we’re back in the same place but we’re totally different people. We just couldn’t stay if we wanted to challenge ourselves and take the next step.” Full of inspiration, Keith and Michael headed to Los Angeles to record new material in the city that had sparked undeniable creative energy for so many artists before them. Home, for now, would be here, and their experience within the bright Angeleno expanse juxtaposed against the darkness of the unknown, which quickly became the through-line that would tie together Atlas Genius’ second album, Inanimate Objects.
The album is a foray into darker emotional realms of songwriter and vocalist, Keith Jeffery, as he explores relationships and experiences, past and present – a journey that maintains the catchiness and sense of melody that the band is known for while exploring the gamut of musical possibility. “It didn’t make sense for me musically to write a bunch of happy, cheery pop songs. We were constantly being drawn to darker guitar and synths sounds, as well as some slower rhythms.” This new exploration afforded the brothers the courage to experiment recklessly with sounds, techniques and genres as they traded their indie sheen for a newfound dynamism. What emerged was something brand new – an amalgamation of ambient, driving pop, punctuated by kinetic electronic beats, guitar and grimy synths.
The album’s underlying sonic current is wonderfully cohesive, but the diversity of influences and breadth of experimentation are everywhere. “For me,” says Keith, “each song is a tiny little intimate moment that explodes.” And that’s what Inanimate Objects is – a collection of moments that speaks to the heart of the human experience. It’s a search for hope, embrace of change, and, finding one’s home.