It’s been several years since James Murphy dropped his first single, music-geek anthem “Losing My Edge”
(“I was there in 1968,” its narrator deadpans. “I was there at the first Can show. In Cologne.”), and now he finds himself preparing to release Sound of Silver
, his second proper album under the LCD Soundsystem moniker. And though this new offering improves upon the excellent, dance-oriented fare of the band’s 2005 self-titled, full-length debut, the always-thinking Murphy isn’t yet satisfied with how he’s pushing the envelope. Rather, he’d like to shove the thing off the table—and maybe even land a radio hit in the process. “The problem with CDs is that they contain sound,” he says via cell phone from a New York City taxi. “For the next record, I will directly inject it into people. It would be awesome to just release a pill.”
Sound of Silver isn’t so accessible you can swallow it with a glass of water, but it does showcase the infectiousness of Murphy’s songwriting while also conveying a sense of bittersweet sadness. From the tender, New Order groove of “All My Friends,” to the frantic shout-along fury of “Watch the Tapes,” the man who—along with Tim Goldsworthy—serves as half of hip production duo DFA (and co-owner of DFA Records) proves himself immune to the sophomore slump. Perhaps most catchy is cheeky first single, “North American Scum,” a track Murphy hopes to force into every music-loving living room worldwide.
“I don’t have much access to mainstream culture, which kind of frustrates me,” he says. “But I am formulating a plan to become a Top 40 artist. This is my goal: I will be a Top 40 artist for 20 minutes. I’m going to make some campaign ads on YouTube. I will make my acceptance speech. I’m totally serious. Why not just go for it? If you like a girl, why not go up and say, ‘I find you really attractive?’ At the very least you get an awkward situation you can write about later. I’m just going to go up to people and say, ‘Make me a top 40 artist.’ I’ll kiss babies and point at people and wear a power tie. You heard it here first.”