Music Interviews

Tanlines: Grown-Up Problems, With A Beat

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Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm of Tanlines. i

Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm of Tanlines. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm of Tanlines.

Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm of Tanlines.

Courtesy of the artist

Four years since they first began making music together, the Brooklyn-based duo Tanlines is finally releasing an album: Mixed Emotions, out tomorrow. The band is Eric Emm, who sings and plays guitar, and Jesse Cohen, who plays drums, keyboards and an assortment of electronic instruments. Cohen is also the chattier of the two.

"We use a lot of different drum kits that are in a computer," Cohen explains. "We also play a lot of stuff live, and a lot of time you can't really tell which is real and which is fake. That's sort of a thing that we like to play with."

The duo uses many elements of electronic dance music, but often repurposes them in a poppier context. As an example, Cohen points to the track "Brothers," which he says reminds him of a Bruce Springsteen song.

"It has a four-four kick, it has a rave synth, it has some of our elements — like that static sound that sounds like waves crashing. But the song itself is really like a melancholy introspective song," Cohen says.

During the making of Mixed Emotions, Cohen and Emm were evicted from their longtime studio. Though they eventually found another space to record, the event left each reflecting on uncertainty of what's next.

"I'm reaching the point where I'm wondering if that feeling is just life," Cohen says. "It's not, like, growing up. That's just a perpetual state that most people have accepted."



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