Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany of Museum of Love could sense the magic early on. Swimming in the same circles in the downtown New York art-rock and dance-punk revival of the early 2000s while Mahoney’s band LCD Soundsystem was gaining prominence and McNany was working as an intern and assistant engineer at Plantain Studios, the two knew a partnership was inevitable but didn’t know when an available time would present itself.
The two got together for a remix of the Battles track “My Machines” back in 2012. The collaboration confirmed all of their early suspicions and the two began work on their 2014 self-titled debut under the Museum of Love moniker. After years of encouragement from late nights of karaoke on tour, Mahoney decided he would step out from behind the drum kit and try his hand at singing for this project. His rich and expressive voice harkens back to such art-rock crooners like Robert Wyatt and David Bowie with a dash of the playfulness akin to David Byrne or Jonathan Richman. The debut album was a perfect distillation of where both Mahoney and McNany were coming from and where they were going. Full of forward thinking, multi-dimensional dance music with Mahoney’s expressive vocals, it seemed like a jumping-off point rather than a random testing of the waters.
In the years since it’s release, life got in the way, as they say. Mahoney became busy again with the reactivated LCD and Museum of Love needed to take the backseat. But as bandleader James Murphy put the band on “full hiatus,” it freed up some time for Mahoney and McNany to get back to work. Back in full force this year, the two released their most imaginative statement yet with Life Of Mammals. Out now via Skint Records, the record expands upon the foundational blocks the debut laid out with elements of psych rock, dub and krautrock added in for more colorful and alluring arrangements.
In our conversation, I spoke with Mahoney and McNanay about the record, their recent return to live music with a recent DJ set at Brooklyn club Elsewhere, Mahoney’s emergence as a front person in a band, maintaining life on the road and life as they both get older, getting James Murphy to provide a mix for Life of Mammals and so much more.
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