Some artists leave a legacy that stretches far beyond a great single or a number 1 album.
Artist Focus is a new series hosted by the extended Melodic Distraction family that deep dives into the life and times of the musicians that have defined the sound of modern music. From the stone cold classics to the unearthed gems and forgotten B-sides, our community tribute an hour of music by a single artist that has had a notable impact on their life.
Chris explores the work of LCD Soundsystem. Formed in 2002, LCD is the brainchild of divisive, sound engineer, music obsessive, label head, producer and DJ – James Murphy – who for over 20 years has produced genre bending, irreverent & at times poignantly uplifting electronic music alongside band mates Nancy Wang, Pat Mahoney, Tyler Pope, Al Doyle, Matt Thornley and Korey Richey. The band came together in Brooklyn, NY during the DIY indie scene that included Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Strokes, TV on The Radio & The Rapture and embodied the chaotic, snobbish and hedonistic, creative hotbed of a unique moment in the city post-9/11 and pre-gentrification.
From grimy warehouses and messy afterparties to headlining festivals worldwide, the first wave of LCD Soundsystem culminated in a sell out show at Madison Square Garden and Murphy pulling the plug on the project after just three studio albums. Then (much to the chagrin of many OG fans) the band reformed in 2016 with the release of a fourth LP, festival appearances & headline shows in the US & Europe including a sell-out four night residency at Brixton Academy in 2022. The band has since gone on to break the glass ceiling of alternative music, becoming a household name through clever uses of sync, high profile TV appearances and a bizarre TV Holiday Special in 2021, which included stars such as Macaulay Culkin and Christine Ko. Their most recent output (their first in five years) the sprawling disco track – New Body Rhumba – became the soundtrack to a full cast dance sequence in the closing scene of Noah Baumbach’s 2022 apocalyptic satire White Noise.
Since their formation LCD Soundsystem have been the flagship band of Murphy’s record label DFA Records but have also released music on Warner, Columbia, Capitol, EMI Virgin & Parlophone. Like many alternative US acts going back to the likes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Chrissy Hynde, The Killers & The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem enjoyed burgeoning success in London and the wider UK & Europe long before they were famous across their home country, giving them a cult status and fiercely loyal fanbase.