Confidence Man share ‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’ and talk ’90s rave-inspired new album ‘3AM (LA LA LA)’: “It’s bonkers – it’s off the walls”

Confidence Man have confirmed details of their third album ‘3AM (LA LA LA)’ with electrifying lead single ‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’. Check it out below along with our interview with the Australian duo.

Set for release on October 18, the album leans heavily on dance music influences, bottling the energy of the UK rave scene that has gripped Confidence Man, following their move to London last year.

Speaking exclusively to NME, Janet Planet and Sugar Bones described how the pathway to this new album presented itself clearly. “It just made sense to hone in on these ’90s rave sounds and put pop vocals over the top, which isn’t really something that’s happened in the past, I guess,” said Janet.

“Everything started here”, she continued, speaking about how their move to the capital got the ball rolling last spring. “The whole album is very London-inspired, the sounds and the lyrics. It’s [about] a group of friends moving over to London and not knowing what the fuck is going on – just the general excitement of being in a new place.”

Somewhat of a mission statement for the album, ‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’ sees Confidence Man embark into new sonic territory, dictated by a pulsating, underlying house beat. “That song started happening at 3am, after hours and hours of nonsense,” Sugar explained.

“We had this great system going where we’d have a big party night, just the three of us in the studio”, he explained, referring to veiled member and producer Reggie Goodchild. “We’d get wasted, stay up late for 12 hours straight and just jam – throw everything at the wall”.

Janet and Sugar spoke to NME about the inception of the record, its late-night approach and plans for their Glastonbury return, ahead of their set on The Other Stage.

NME: Hello Janet and Sugar. How’s London life been treating you?

Sugar Bones: “We live together. Somehow, we don’t all hate each other yet, but we’re all in Dalston, in a nice little flat.”

Janet Planet: “We figured out how to use the London Underground, which was a big move on Sugar’s behalf – he’s not much of a public [transport] guy. And London’s closer to Ibiza!”

Confidence Man, 2024. Credit: Press

Have you been able to find some sort of work-life balance in the flat?

Sugar:  “It’s [been] quite useful because Janet’s constantly writing some kind of melody. ‘Doo doo doo doo doo’ – you could have put this on that beat, Reggie!’, she’ll scream at him.”

Janet: “Most of the time, we’ve been working from the studio, but we spent a lot of time around this bloody coffee table. Our neighbours have put up with some absolute shit – I feel quite bad.”

Sugar: “The neighbours always hate us by the end.”

Did you find that the London energy found its way into the album?

Janet: “I feel like the people here are just perfectly cooked.”

Sugar: “Kind of like us.”

Janet: “I love the Brits, they’re really gritty people. I love the music scene over here, the queer scene in particular.”

Sugar: “We’ve come from the furthest place in the world from everything. The thought of being in the middle of it – where people are coming to town and hitting us up out of the blue – that’s quite new for us.”

Janet: “It’s pretty clear where we spend most of our time, in the song ‘WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU’LL FIND’ we sing, ‘Meet me on the corner of Mare Street and Ridley Road”. They were the only two streets in London that I knew [when we moved]! I was wasted when I did that vocal.”

How did your new single ‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’ come together?

Janet: “Reggie was sitting downstairs, going through a whole bunch of beats – it would have been like, 3am or something.  I remember coming down the stairs from the bathroom, [with] this melody to the beat that he was playing. The other day, he was in a hotel room with SG Lewis in Budapest, playing with a whole bunch of beats – [he said] maybe it’s one of his?

“We sent SG Lewis a video, ‘Wwe have like this sick top line for your song blah, blah, blah’. He came back and said, ‘That’s not my beat’. Reggie then realised, ‘Oh, it must be a really old one of mine!’ Then we had to explain to SG that actually it wasn’t his. It was so awkward.”

There’s some pretty futuristic vocal production on that track too…

Janet: “Sugar’s gonna have to get in-ear [monitors] for this album because he’s actually singing.”

Sugar: “It’s been seven years that I’ve got away with it, just yelling here and there. On this album, I’m like, ‘Fuck, I’m gonna have to actually sing that.’”

Janet: “Aw, you poor thing!”

Does that song epitomise the inspiration behind the album title ‘3AM (LA LA LA)’?

Janet: “Most of what we wrote that was good, 3am was our sweet spot. Usually past 3am, it would start going downhill from there.”

Sugar: “Generally, that was the peak. We also love The KLF, they’ve got a great track called ‘3am Eternal’. It’s a tipping of the hat to them, I guess.”

Things must have got really wild in those late-night sessions…

Sugar: “It felt like the deepest we’ve ever gone. Pushing yourself right to the edge of that crazy point where you completely lose your mind, and you might ruin your life. That’s the sweet spot.”

The album is packed with ‘90s rave influences, where did those come from?

Janet: “There’s definitely been a stronger dance influence on this record. We’ve also just been finding more dance music as we’ve gotten older, as well. The dance scene in Australia doesn’t feel as strong as it does here. We’ve been really influenced by all the sounds out of the UK, and the UK rave scene.”

Sugar: “Our lives have just become more ravey, somehow.”

Janet: “Somehow, in our old age.”

Sugar: “Don’t try this at home.”

Are there any collaborations on the album? You’ve been busy dropping bangers with Daniel Avery, DJ Seinfeld and DJ Boring over the past year…

Janet: “The first Con Man single since ‘TILT’ [2022], I wanted it to be a big moment, and be completely Con Man – a new phase. The whole album is our production, our everything. I like collaborating, but I don’t like other people touching my shit!”

Sugar: “We are quite obsessive, and we go in pretty deep. We just want time to go nuts.”

Janet: “When we do collaborate, we like to run [everyone] through the 3am music process.”

Has anyone managed to survive that process?

Sugar: “Normally they leave [the studio] – looking quite dishevelled – before the three of us go home.”

Janet: “The person who did the best is Eliza Rose, she survived till 3am. Everyone else tapped out early.”

Sugar: “Eliza’s still holding the title of best partygoer.”

What’s your favourite song on the album?

Sugar: “‘3AM (LA LA LA)’, the title track. It’s a journey track.”

Janet: “‘REAL MOVE TOUCH’ feels like the most quintessentially Con Man song. It represents the album – it’s bonkers, it’s off the walls, and it doesn’t have the normal structure that a pop song should have. It makes its own rules.”

There are less lyrics on this album – more time for dancing?

Sugar: “I think we’ve distilled it a little bit, and done a little less-”

Janet: “Rambling! With a pop song, repetition is key. We don’t want to push the envelope too far. We like our little pop moments to be pop moments – we love a ‘La la la’ and a ‘Na na na‘.”

The album is out in October – is there less focus on the summer bangers this time?

Janet: “This album feels a bit wintery to me, quite metallic and night-timey. It’s a lot darker than ‘TILT’, but there’s elements on it that are summer bangers. The way that we wrote it is probably the best way to listen to it – around the table, cooked with your mates.”

Sugar: “Try and enter that state of mind. It’s definitely a night time album, for the wee hours of the morning.”

Confidence Man. Credit: Martin Philbey for NME

How are plans for the new live show coming along – anything special in mind for your Glastonbury return?

Janet: “All the shit we’re planning for Glastonbury is going to be next level, I can’t wait to blow people’s minds. We’ve just been fucking upskilling, doing swing classes and he’s learned how to flip me. We’re constantly walking around with a bruised leg. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve.”

Sugar: “We can’t say too much. Think ‘live animals’.”

Janet: “I’m obsessed with pigeons at the moment. I don’t know, they’re kind of glamorous air rats. I feel like that’s my vibe. I managed to get pigeons on the album cover.”

There’s a lot going on in the artwork, isn’t there…

Janet: “It feels like a comic book, or kind of like a detective novel. Dali-esque.”

Sugar: “The London nighttime industrial cityscape.”

Janet: “For the ‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’ visuals, we were flying naked over London in a helicopter. It’s us as pigeons, pretty much! It felt pretty dangerous… I can’t imagine what the people on The Shard were thinking.

Sugar: “[The pigeons] just flocked behind us, and formed a flying V.”

Confidence Man announce ‘‘3AM (LA LA LA)’

‘3AM (LA LA LA)’ is due for release October 18 via CHAOS. Check out album tracklist, plus Confidence Man’s 2024 UK tour dates below. V

1.⁠ ⁠’WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU’LL FIND?’
2.⁠ ⁠‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’
3.⁠ ⁠’CONTROL’
4.⁠ ‘ SO WHAT⁠’
5.⁠ ⁠’BREAKBEAT’
6.⁠ ⁠’SICKO’
7.⁠ ⁠’REAL MOVE TOUCH’ (feat. Sweetie Irie)
8.⁠ ⁠’FAR OUT’
9.⁠ ‘JANE’
10.⁠ ⁠⁠’SO TRU’
11.⁠ ⁠’WRONG IDEA’
12.⁠ ⁠‘3AM (LA LA LA)’

Tour dates:

JUNE
26-30 – Glastonbury Festival, Pilton
AUGUST
24 – Reading Festival, Richfield Avenue
25 – Leeds Festival, Bramham Park

The post Confidence Man share ‘I CAN’T LOSE YOU’ and talk ’90s rave-inspired new album ‘3AM (LA LA LA)’: “It’s bonkers – it’s off the walls” appeared first on NME.

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