UPDATE: Spoon also performed their new album’s showstopper, “Inside Out,” backstage as an online exclusive, stripped down to just keyboard and vocals; scroll down for that.
Spoon‘s previous album, 2010′s Transference, is hardly the clunker suggested by the Austin, Texas band’s current press. Aside from being self-produced and a bit more defiantly lo-fi — a zig where the success of 2007′s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga might’ve called for a more pliant band to zag — it wasn’t even that big of a left turn for the group, with somber Hollywood credit fodder “Out Go the Lights,” hard-charging rocker “Trouble Comes Running” and “Golden Slumbers”-like piano lullaby “Goodnight Laura” to go with the backwards vocals of “Is Love Forever?” and post-punk chug of “Got Nuffin.” But the midtempo, hyper-melodic “Do You” is the song from Spoon’s new album, the excellent They Want My Soul (out today on Loma Vista), that’s most spiritually distant from the last record — “Do you wanna get understood?” brays Britt Daniel on the chorus, at least hinting at the possibility of a comprehension out of reach on Transference‘s “Nobody Gets Me But You” and, in fact, the new album’s Ann-Margret cover “I Just Don’t Understand.”
Considering Transference did, for whatever reason, fail to make as big a splash as its predecessor, the autumnal warmth of “Do You,” then, was a wise choice for the band to perform last night on Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Daniel somehow manages all those chirpy “do-do” vocal hooks, then goes right into the verses, while audiences who didn’t get into Spoon’s “secret show” this week in New York got a chance to see how new member Alex Fischel’s stage presence works with the band. Spoon’s frontman, grinning, stumbled a bit after the performance (a two-decade-old band foiled by a microphone cord!) but never during.