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Lake Street Dive Uncovers Inspiration In An Unlikely Place

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Photo: Lake Street Dive
(Photo: courtesy of the artist)

The members of Lake Street Dive look to their music collection for inspiration. The influence of artists like Hall & Oates and The Beatles is easy to hear in their previous work.

The band tried something new for their latest release. They looked for artists they’d never listened to.

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Singer Rachael Price says they would go to the record store and walk straight to the dollar bin. They looked for album covers that stood out and artists they didn’t recognize. Then they brought them to the studio and listened together.

“We would just drop the needle every morning and use things we heard for inspiration,” Price says. “We were specifically picking records by artists we had never heard of so we were always hearing something fresh.”

They call it the “dollar bin influence” and it’s all over their latest album, “Side Pony.” They used a sample of '60s R&B singer Major Lance’s “Love Pains” on their song “Can’t Stop.”

The group steps outside of their comfort zone on “Side Pony.” And that makes the record stand out.

They’ve always mixed genres like pop, R&B and soul. On “Side Pony” they add disco to the mix. Bass player Bridget Kearney says the music is hard to lump into one genre.

“It’s music that feels great to rollerskate to. And of course that’s a joke, but there is something about a tempo or a groove that is smooth and also funky,” Kearney says.

Guitar and trumpet player Mike Olson says their choice of genres, the lyrics, even the album artwork all come back to what they found in the dollar bin.

“We were trying to be fearless on this record,” Olson says. “To be fearless is not only ‘Let’s try something new’ but it’s also ‘Let’s give into temptation a little bit.’”

Lake Street Dive discovered inspiration can come from unexpected places on “Side Pony” --even a record store dollar bin.

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