Dragonette's Martina Sorbara talks cheating...at least in her lyrics
Dragonette has been hot on the underground pop scene for years, but it wasn't until last year that the band came charging onto the radio with global party-starter "Hello," a collaboration with Martin Solveig. Almost overnight, the outfit — lead singer Martina Sorbara; her husband, multi-instrumentalist Dan Kurtz; and drummer Joel Stouffer — went from being pop's best-kept secret to playing two sets at Coachella in April.
The Canadian act, based out of the U.K. these days, comes to Denver this weekend on the eve of the release of its third album, Bodyparts, which hits stores this Tuesday. We spoke with Sorbara about the new album and why she and Kurtz aren't pop's next Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
Westword: You've said that you consider Galore [Dragonette's debut] a female, a lady entity, and that Fixin to Thrill [the followup] is like the brother to that. So where does Bodyparts fit into that family?
Martina Sorbara: I have no idea. It was an analogy that was destined for failure as soon as there was a third album, because you can't be like, "Oh, it's a girl again!"
"It's a hermaphrodite. Yay!" So, yeah, I don't know where Bodyparts fits in on that analogy. I think Bodyparts is very different than both of them. Bodyparts was made under different circumstances. Fixin to Thrill was the album we made after leaving our label, Mercury, so it was like, "I have no idea who is listening, if anybody." When we made Fixin to Thrill, there was a kind of "Fuck that" attitude. "I don't want anybody telling me what I'm gonna be, how this is the next big thing or whatever."
Is it ever weird working with your husband? When Dan sees your lyrics, or when you're playing, do you ever have a Fleetwood Mac moment?
Dan has let it all wash over him and be like, "Maybe it's about us, maybe it's not." There are songs that I'm like, "Wait — if I write this, is that going to expose something that I don't want to expose?" But we've grown enough together that we just allow it all to be there, because if we didn't, none of this would work.
There's a song called "Ghost" on the new album. It's a song where he knows I've been untrue — or that's a lyric, anyway. Or he knows I've cheated on him or something, and that never happened. I generally write about non-fictional things, and I was really self-conscious of that because I know everything I write is so true.
It was based on a scene in this movie by Miranda July, when time freezes because she tells her husband that she cheated on him. And that just sat with me, and I wrote this song about that. When Dan listened to the lyrics I put down, I was like, "Fuck, this is gonna just look really bad. But I didn't cheat on you! I just wrote about it."