A year in the life of ROBOTANISTS…

We’ve had such an amazing year, it’s crazy to think it’s already come to end. We made two albums, and started a third, made our third music video, went to SXSW, and so much more! Here’s a recap of everything we were up to in 2011…

"Bear Sleigh // Festive Furries No.2" by Sandra Dieckmann

We started the year off mastering our third album, PLANS IN PROGRESS with Mark Chalecki (Local Natives, The Living Sisters, Avi Buffalo, Princeton, Jason Lytle etc.).

PLANS was sort of a concept album for us… produced by Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Karen O, Beck, Feist), we challenged ourselves to push harmony and structure to new places through it.

Right away we got great response, and RCRDLBL.com premiered our first single, “ON/OFF the Ledge before its release, calling our new album, “female-fronted indie at its finest.” We were humbled by the overwhelming response we received from the press, which included, write ups by LA Weekly, The Deli, PAPER, Filter, Amplifier, Flavorpill, Delusions of Adequacy, Radio Free Silver Lake, Pop Matters, and Indie Rock Reviews to name a few. QRO described the album,

“beautiful, breathy vocals; style for miles; and epic compositional turns that pull you in without pretense.”

Check out what everyone has had to say HERE!

PLANS came out on February 15th, and we celebrated its release at our February residency at the Silverlake Lounge in Los Angeles (presented by FILTER MAGAZINEWILDTONIC.comOVERHEAD RECORDS). Actually, February turned out to be a chaotic month for us… We had just finished up our album, and were still eager to be in the studio, when we got word that Radiohead had a new album coming out, in less than a week! We jumped at the chance to do something out of our comfort zone, and we decided to cover their album within a day of its release, the result was our serendipitous 4th album, THE KING OF LIMBS IN 24 HOURS.

We were lucky enough to get recognition from around the world, as far away as Brazil, the UK and Japan and here at home we were applauded by the New York Times and even had our cover of “Codex” named of the top 15 Radiohead Covers of all time by PAPER Magazine!

Meanwhile we were headed to SXSW for the first time, where we played over a dozen shows in a few short days! We returned to LA to the news  that our new album and single had both debuted in the top 20 at national radio, and our music video for the track (directed by Tom Kenney ) had been premiered by CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND!  Invigorated by good news and the talent of all of the great bands we shared stages with in Austin, we decided to broaden our live show and assemble a string septet to perform with us. We called our new partners in crime, The Artificial Heartstrings, and they made their debut with us at the Satellite in April!

With strings in tow, we performed at a slew of incredible events and at great venues in LA and beyond, like LA Fashion Week’s sold out event Project Ethos, at the Avalon in Hollywood, the Make Music Pasadena Festival, the Dickies Sounds Lounge and at the legendary Troubadour, to name a few.

Aalong the way we shared the stage with so many amazing bands, here are a few highlights from 2011… Best Coast, Active Child, Electric Guest , Step Dad, Ra Ra Riot, Morning Benders, Saint Motel, La Sera, Kisses, Zola Jesus , Death Kit, Twilight Sleep, Skull Tape (feat. Brad Breeck of Mae Shi), Useless Keys, Living Things, Yolanda Be Cool, The Fling, The Romany Rye, This Will Destroy You, Crooks, Vetiver, White Sea, Barcelona, Cloud Control, Fitz & The Tantrums, Uh Huh Her, Lanterns, Oh Darling, Kissing Cousins, Fang Island, Night Jewel, Class Actress, Pepper Rabbit, Neon Trees, Tennis,  Light FM, Hands, The Secret  Language, Duniven, The Neighborhood (Feat. Ryan Dolliver of Hockey), Mother Mother, Andy Clockwise,  Bear Hands, Blonde Summer, Datarock, Snowden, Sleeping Bags, The New Limb, Baron Von Luxxury, Mirror Talk, Tic Tic Boom!, Vice Cooler and many, many more!

We were also lucky enough to have our music provide the soundtrack to some great TV shows this year! Every song from our first album, CLOSE DOWN THE WOODS appeared on TV, including the Season 3 premiere of MTV’s Jersey Shore.  Our newest single, “The Ghost You’re Haunting” also debuted on ABC’s Private Practice.

We also had some unlikely mix tape inclusions, appearing on the Absolut Vodka’s “Wild Tea Mix Tape along side Oh Land, Ladytron, Twin Shadow, Yelle, Chromeo, Sleigh Bells, Lykke Li, The Streets and more, and on the American Eagle Outfitters 2011 in-store mix tape with Ladyhawke, Lady Gaga, The School, Magic Kids, Kid Sister, A Fine Frenzy, Ellie Goulding, Duffy and others!

In October, we decided to take up the task of working on a companion album to PLANS IN PROGRESS, tentatively titled, RAW MATERIALS, featuring stripped down string arrangements that will hopefully be finished early in 2012. We also had a number of side projects and off shoots start up in 2011, Daniel performed with Skull Tape (feat. Brad Breeck of Mae Shi), Spirit Animal (NYC), and Vice Cooler, and is currently writing with Baron Von Luxxury. Sarah also has a new project called Daydrifter, and will be releasing her first album in 2012!

What’s next for ROBOTANISTS? Well, you’ll find us on stage, in the studio and online as usual in 2012. Thank you to everyone who came out to our shows, performed with us,  listened to us, bought our albums, and bought us drinks in 2011 and before. We’re lucky to have such amazing friends, family and fans… we’ll see you soon!