After making a name for themselves with their first two LPs in their native Australia, jazz-funk ensemble Surprise Chef recently revealed that they’d signed with the Brooklyn-based label Big Crown Records to release their latest collection of songs alongside recent must-hear projects by the likes of El Michels Affair and Lady Wray. Education & Recreation is set to arrive October 14, and the latest pre-album single is debuting today in the form of the lightly grooving “Iconoclasts”—a track that reflects the sigh of relief the band was about to heave at the tail end of an intensive eight-day recording session for the LP.
“I had written the tune roughly a year before we recorded it, but we struggled at the time to arrange the idea into anything substantial,” the band’s Lachlan Stuckey shares. “In our frazzled collective mental state, we tried to piece together the tune in the studio, but once again failed to put the pieces together. Thankfully, our percussionist Hudson Whitlock and recording engineer Henry Jenkins seemed to understand the shape of the tune far better than we did at the time, and dug deep to help contextualize the parts so that we could finish the tune.”
In contrast with the skittering, upbeat funk of “Money Music,” which introduced the album, “Iconoclasts” opens with lullaby keys before a soft guitar riff segues the recording into a unique, nearly hip-hop-inspired nocturnal groove. “The recording ended up having a super unique energy within the collection of tracks we did, due mostly, I think, to the manically tired state we were in and the knowledge that we only had to complete this tune and then we'd be allowed to finish the session,” Stuckey adds.