American Football LP 3, Light Blue Vinyl LP Record
We put a lot of time and a lot of energy into it, says Mike. We were all thoughtful about what we wanted to put out there. Last time, it was figuring out how to use all of our different arms. This time, we were like Ok we have these arms, let's use them. The band used the same producer, Jason Cupp, and recorded the album at the same studio (Arc Studios in Omaha, Nebraska) as its predecessor yet they approached it in a markedly different way. There was a determination to let the songs breathe, to trust in ideas finding their own pace. The final result is a definite, and deliberate, stretching of the band. As a result, LP3 is less obviously tethered to the band's past than the second album. An immediate contrast between LP3 and its two predecessors is its cover. The two previous albums featured the exterior and interior of a residence in the band's original hometown of Urbana, Illinois (now attracting fans for pilgrimages and photo opportunities), by the photographer Chris Strong. But American Football knew that LP3 was an outside record. Instead of the familiar house, this time the cover photo (again by Strong) features open, rolling fields on Urbana's borders. It is a sign of the album's magnitude in sound, and of the band's boldness in breaking away from home comforts.