Junior Senior, the Danish pop duo who made waves on American dance floors with their infectious 2003 hit “Move Your Feet,” are mixing their second album in Los Angeles. The follow-up to D-D-D-Don’t Stop the Beat was written in Denmark and London after the band’s 2004 world tour.
According to principal songwriter Jesper “Junior” Mortensen, the album is inspired by classic soul and funk. “We didn’t really want to do the rock thing — we wanted to make something that was more funky,” he says. “We liked the stuff that had a groove to it on the last album. The cool thing about old music is that the rhythmic arrangements are so much more interesting and rewarding to listen to.”
Junior Senior — Mortensen and Jeppe “Senior” Laursen — self-produced the album in the same Copenhagen studio that Franz Ferdinand laid down their self-titled debut. Among the eleven tracks are the provocative “Itch You Can’t Scratch” and the charmer “Can I Get Right.” “It’s about ‘Can I get to know you better?’ instead of ‘I love you,'” Mortensen says of the latter. “It starts out kind of rude, and then the chorus is like, ‘I don’t do that kind of thing.’ The underlying message is sweet.”
For the aptly named “We Are the Handclaps,” Junior Senior invited friends to literally lend their hands — something that created a mini-financial windfall for the participants. “In Denmark, they get paid even though they only did handclaps for two minutes,” Mortensen says, laughing. “They get quite a lot of money — like every time the album sells they get one cent or something. It’s some sort of Danish union thing.”
“We used one of our friends in the chorus of ‘Move Your Feet,'” Laursen adds, “and every year now they get a check for, like, $1,500 from the Danish government because they said ‘Beep!’ in the background.”
After leaving Atlantic Records last year, Junior Senior are working to secure a U.S. deal for the new record. “We couldn’t agree on the terms of the next album,” Laursen says of the split. “We want to work with someone who really wants to work with us back.”
The duo has begun lining up live dates, including low-key shows at Los Angeles’ Spaceland on June 21st and New York City’s Mercury Lounge on June 23rd, before they return to Denmark to perform at the massive Roskilde festival on July 1st.