OneRebublic will release 'Native' on March 26th
In a recent interview, Ryan Tedder, the founder and songwriter of OneRepublic, reveals that the band decided to call its third studio album Native(out Mar 26th) because “we’re intrinsically not an American sounding band.”
“We don’t have that obvious American sound to us,” Tedder explains. “I wanted all the people in South Africa, Poland, France, Australia -- I wanted the music to feel like it was indigenous to them, like it was native to where they were from.”
It’s not a far reach to say that the quintet -- which had a meteoric rise thanks to MySpace -- aspires to the school of global pop: a stadium seating club that also include the likes of U2 and Coldplay. Tedder himself has songwriting and production credits that include worldwide hits for stars like Kelly Clarkson, Adele and Beyonce.
This is also a club that comes under especially intense scrutiny -- and is in the dangerous position of going big and turning bland. But Tedder and OneRepublic are well aware of the examination facing acts that write for such an enormous, slippery audience. “Lately, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things we could be” sings Tedder on the album’s opener, “Counting Stars.”
The group certainly lost some sleep over Native, its first release in four years. What happened? The radio ballad band discovered EDM, particularly Swedish House Mafia. As a result, Native is full of bigger beats, anthemic choruses, and other surprising influences. “Can’t Stop” has the wobble and rumble of dub-step darling James Blake, and “I Lived” embraces hallelujah rock with a worldess sing-along chorus.
A preoccupation with mortality also runs through Native. Globetrotting Tedder confronts his fear of flying in "If I Lose Myself" as his bandmates sing back to him, "take us down and we keep trying / 40,000 feet keep flying." One of those big new beats, on “Feel Again,” includes heartbeats of children from Malawi and Guatemala, and is part of a campaign for the non-profit Save The Children. And, as the album draws to a close, the gospel-inflected “Preacher” delves into Tedder’s familial and spiritual history, even as the sheen is super glossy. These are songs for the world wide ear...one ear at a time.
Gretta joined Soundcheck in 2010, having spent several years as a freelance radio documentary producer. Her stories on birders, fishermen, nurses, performance artists and even the Yale Whiffenpoofs have aired on a variety of outlets, from WNYC's Studio 360 to APM's The Story. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Brown University and studied radio production at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She was a cellist in the rock band Cursive from 2001-2005.