This post is contributed by Benjamin Goodman, marketing director for Crush Mobile.
Cardiknox, a dance-pop duo founded in 2013, features singer Lonnie Angle (who’s Jewish) and multi-instrumentalist Thomas Dutton. Both members are originally from Seattle, have lived in NYC, and are now based in Los Angeles. Their singles have received praise from top music blogs and magazines including Billboard, Spin, AV Club and Stereogum. This led to Cardiknox’s signing with Warner Bros. Records last year and their debut album ‘Portrait’ will be released on March 11.
In 2015, Cardiknox played at huge festivals in the United States, Canada, and Europe including Lollapalooza, Firefly, Sasquatch, Reading, Leeds and Pukkelpop. In addition, the duo opened for Carly Rae Jepsen at a few concerts in Las Vegas in December and they are currently on the road with The Knocks.
For their latest move, Cardiknox has partnered up with JCrush, a Jewish dating app available for free on iPhone and Android, to help spread the word about each other. Users of the app can share four of Cardiknox’s songs (via Spotify) with their matches (also known as Crushes).
We just chatted with Lonnie Angle to discuss their upcoming debut album, touring, and plans for 2016.
How did Cardiknox meet and form?
My best friend introduced me to Thomas because he had written a concept album, Razia’s Shadow, with his old band. My background was in theater and Thomas and I began adapting his album to be a more legit musical for the stage. Thomas was rewriting songs and I was writing the libretto. We started working with The Public Theater (in NYC) and spent some time developing it there. When we were burnt out on the project and needed a change, we started writing pop music. Eventually, those songs turned into the first Cardiknox songs.
What led to your signing with Warner Bros. Records?
In 2014, we began writing and recording with John Shanks who ended up producing our forthcoming album, ‘Portrait.’ We spent a few months writing and recording with John, and in the midst of that, were introduced to Kate Craig who is in A&R at WBR. Kate immediately became a champion of the project, and brought us in to meet with A&R Execs and the President of the company. They were really excited about the music and our vision, and it was a real fit to join the Warner Bros. family.
How is being on a major label different from when you were unsigned?
In some ways it’s totally different and in other ways, it didn’t change anything. Creatively and artistically, we have maintained complete control which was a non-negotiable for us when finding the right label partner. Our team really trusts the music and vision we have and has let us run wild. When you’re on a major, you’re given the support (both financially and logistically) to have your music heard by many more ears. With that though, comes a bigger team of collaborators and a different set of timelines. So for example, in the past, we could write a song on a Tuesday and release it on Thursday. Now, that process is longer and has a lot more structure to it. Luckily, Thomas and I are very Type A and thrive in a structured environment so I don’t think the transition to a label has been as hard for us as it is for some.
What artist on Warner Bros. Records would you most like to record and/or tour with?
Prince would be pretty phenomenal to collaborate with.
What musicians most inspire your songwriting?
Peter Gabriel, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Drake.
Tell me about the recording process for your debut album Portrait.
We were fortunate to spend almost six months writing and recording in the famed Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood with John Shanks. John is the only resident producer there so we had access to his room 7 days a week and really took advantage of that. In many ways, we kind of became recluse while recording. Days were super long and we were really focused on getting out all of the storytelling and melody that had been hiding inside us for some time. It was kind of a surreal experience.
What are some of your favorite songs off of your forthcoming debut album?
What Do I Do Now is a favorite of both Thomas and mine. I don’t think it will ever be a single but we really love it. Earthquake and Shadowboxing as well. But my favorites really just depend on my mood.
What are your plans for 2016 and your album release?
Right now we’re doing a U.S. tour supporting The Knocks and it’s been awesome. They’re such great shows and such awesome guys. When we finish this, we head out with Carly Rae Jepsen for a month and a half and open for her all over the country. Our album drops while we’re out with Carly (March 11th), we’ll play some festivals this summer, and perhaps even hop over the pond again and make it back to Europe. 2016 is gonna be a great year.
To keep up with Cardiknox, visit www.cardiknox.com