Lookbook's young hearts run free

Dance-pop duo headlining First Avenue for the first time

After the last take she sits in the booth in darkness. Back in the main room of the studio, Cutler, Johnson, and Masurka discuss the latest results, cheeks flushed with excitement over Morrison's uninhibited, trial-by-fire approach to pinning down the right take.

Cutler and Morrison have started collaborating more closely with Masurka, a Twin Cities native now working out of Miami who has recently found success as both a remix artist and a pop producer. A song he had a hand in producing, Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me 'Single Mix,'" is currently sitting at No. 31 on the Billboard charts and the No. 14 spot on the iTunes single charts. "I'm not really trying to be a pop producer as Gigamesh, but this kind of happened by accident," Masurka explains.

Masurka met Cutler and Morrison while playing a show with them a couple of years ago (Masurka used to play in electronic group Nobot). "After their set I asked if I could do a remix of one of their tunes, and things grew from there," he says. "I think two-piece male-and-female acts automatically have a certain mystique, especially when their vocals blend as well as Grant and Maggie's. But for me what really sets them apart is their songwriting—they know how to write extremely catchy music while maintaining variety and integrity from song to song."

Eric GY Petersen
Nick Vlcek

"Matt makes everything sound way better," Cutler says. "He just mixes it, basically, and makes sure that the layout makes sense, so there's not like big dumb, long parts that don't do anything."

In truth, the effects of Masurka's mixing are immediately audible in Lookbook's newer tracks. Much as Wild at Heart expounded on I Fear You, My Darkness's sparse sound, the newest beats are even fatter and more substantial, taking advantage of the full dynamic range of Lookbook's unique instrumentation and adding a sheen to their already catchy hooks.

"We don't want to make it sound like the '80s anymore," Cutler says, reflecting on their new sound. "We're tired of what everybody thinks we sound like."

"We're going to try to sound like the '90s now," Morrison adds, laughing.

"Yeah, now we're up to the '90s," Cutler says. "Do you know that song "Tootsee Roll"? I like how right at the beginning of that song—I don't remember when it came out, I think 1993 or 1994—but like the first thing the dude says is '1994!' And then the beat drops. I think we should do that with ours, to just date it immediately. So people won't even have to guess anymore. 'What are these guys going for?' We wanted that 1994 sound."

LOOKBOOK perform with Slapping Purses, Bight Club, and Zoo Animal on FRIDAY, JUNE 18, at FIRST AVENUE; 612.338.1775

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