Stereogum has a nice interview with Robyn on the three mini-albums she’s going to release at various points throughout this year. And it sounds like the combination of time pressure from running her own label, and thinking about the state of the industry has brought her to a similar conclusion about the feasibility and value of full albums as my own:
The downside of all that control? Everything takes so much time. It’s been five years since Robyn was released (two years since it came out stateside), and she has spent all that time touring and promoting. She’s also set up unique collaborations, received awards, and set up distribution with a US label. This album cycle worked well for Robyn, but it didn’t really work for her — so this year Robyn will record her new album in pieces, releasing parts in the spring, summer, and then fall or winter. “I think this splitting a full album up into different releases is, in a way, how people listen to music as well. It’s more about songs now,” she says. “But for me this is not an EP or a lesser version of an album. It’s an album, but it’s maybe not the normal length, so I can go back to the studio again and release these songs while they’re actually fresh, and go back to the studio and work on more stuff while touring,” she says.
I also totally agree with this sentiment: “I love big sad pop songs. That’s where I naturally go. That’s the best.” One of the things I think Lady Gaga and Robyn have in common is a strong skill for wrapping up very sad sentiments in dance beats. Whether it’s Robyn stating the facts, “You never were, and you never will be mine,” in “Be Mine” or Lady Gaga’s agonized declaration that “I don’t want to be friends,” in “Bad Romance,” they’re almost subversive in the pairing of lyrics and sound.