In fact, Interview magazine just released the transcription of a phone conversation between Rey and frequent collaborator and friend Jack Antonoff that revealed that the new album isn’t done yet.
While Rey admitted that they were “incredibly close” to the finish line, the two discussed how Chemtrails Over the Country Club came to be.
“I was thinking about how different it’s been making this one because of how much I’ve been distracted by poetry this year,” Rey said. “Just when you think you know what you’re doing, something else pops up.”
Antonoff, who revealed that he was in New York working on Rey’s album, told the singer, “When you would send me them, they would always stop me dead in my tracks. Maybe I’d get one and be on a plane, or in a car, or walking down the street. It was like getting a dispatch from another universe.”
Although it seems that songs flowed out of Rey for Chemtrails, she admitted that it wasn’t an easy process. “I’ve been really stressed about this album. From the top, we knew what Norman was. But with Chemtrails, it was like, “Is this new folk? Oh, god, are we going country?” Now that it’s done I feel really good about it, and I think a defining moment for this album will be ‘White Dress/Waitress.’”
She went on to say that her personal life and new poetry have distracted her from the new record.
“The one thing that makes me upset is that if I hadn’t been so distracted with my personal life and my poetry,” she said, “I could’ve broken it down in a more delicate, precise way. I guess the way I could’ve done that is just by adding one more defining song to it. Right now it’s really, really good, but I don’t know if it’s perfect, and that really bothers me. I think I need to add that song, ‘Dealer,’ where I’m just screaming my head off. People don’t know what it sounds like when I yell. And I do yell.”
She also delved into her performance with Joan Baez last fall, and how that came to fruition. She said:
“On the last tour, we went to Berkeley and I really wanted to do “Diamonds and Rust” with Joan, and she was kind enough to accommodate me. Nobody necessarily wants to show up to do a giant show for 15,000 kids at Berkeley, but she told me that if I’d drive out 80 miles from Berkeley, then we could practice at her kitchen table, and if it was good, she would do it. So that’s what I did. She corrected me on all my harmonies, and by the end, it was great. Then we went out clubbing to this Afro-Caribbean two-step place and danced all night. She fucking outlasted me.”
Music aside, they also touched on a bit of optimism about society — something that feels a bit foreign these days.
“There’s no way we’re going to get it wrong,” she said. “We’re really on the right path. The #MeToo movement was not just a passing movement. Black Lives Matter, no way in hell that’s going away. People talking out about mental health, there’s no way they’re not going to seek even more genetic testing to find out what they’re predisposed to. All the scariness and worriedness and disappointment at the same time is like being in a big rocket that is shooting us into a new emotional place, and we’re going to come out of it and be like, ‘I don’t want to go shopping. I need to go talk to somebody about something.’”
Read the full conversation in Interview here.