Christiaan Mader’s mind is everywhere.
When he talks, you can tell those wheels in his head are spinning faster than the most caffeinated version of yourself.
Fittingly, his band, the Lafayette pop-rock trio, Brass Bed, is the same way.
“Our biggest problem is that we were easily distracted,” Mader says.
On April 15, the band will release its fourth album, “In the Yellow Leaf.” A follow-up to the critically-acclaimed “The Secret Will Keep You,” Mader is reticent to pin down the themes and sounds of the record.
“I wish I could come and say, ‘We sat down, and we had some conscientious sonic idea,’ ” he says. “But it wasn’t that concerted. Inevitably, we made a guitar rock record.”
The wheels screech to a halt.
Brass Bed, a band known for its mix of Beach Boys-esque melodies and atmospheric rock, have made a guitar rock record?
Stick with Mader. It gets deeper.
The album title comes from a Ralph Waldo Emerson essay.
“This is super-pretentious, right? Strap in,” Mader laughs.
“In the Yellow Leaf” is an idiom for being old.
“I really like the concept of things turning color, that struck me,” the 31-year-old says. “The weird thing about aging is no matter how young you are, you’re not getting younger. It’s something that happens.”
The maturation process isn’t new for Brass Bed. Throughout its career, the band has seen its sound and lineup morph. At first, the band was a quintet, throwing everything at a wall. With each subsequent release, the band’s core got smaller. Now, the band is back to where it started — a trio of Mader, Jonny Campos and Peter DeHart.
“What used to happen was that inevitably, whatever band that recorded the sounds, we would tour with a group that didn’t make that record,” Mader says. “So you have an album like ‘The Secret Will Keep You,’ with all these keyboard parts, and you have guitars doing that work on tour.”
Over time, Brass Bed became a muscular unit. When you see the band live, Mader and Campos are breaking out, attacking the guitars, fiddling with pedals, and creating these sonic worlds with DeHart providing a super-tight drum pocket.
It wasn’t an easy transition. It was one built out of necessity.
“That guitar rock was what I listened to, and I always sort of admired that style of playing,” Mader says. “[On the new album,] we found ourselves looking toward something that spoke from that place. We were attacking the sound. But at the same time, we try to embrace the dynamics. There are still those layers of tonal space that sit on the track.”
The work has paid off. Late last year, the band released its first single from the upcoming album, “I Am Just a Whisper.” It’s easily the fastest thing the band has done, but it’s got a Krautrock feel to it. The vocal melodies create this cloud over what is otherwise a whirring rock song.
The wheels are turning again. Full throttle.
Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter @MatthewSigur.