The Airborne Toxic Event

“When I write a song,” says Mikel Jollett, co-founder and creative driver of the Californian five-piece The Airborne Toxic Event, “I’m trying to get down an emotion, a scene or a setting. Everything important that happens after that happens between the music and the listener; the rest of it is all mythology. The collective interpretation of it is way more important than what I think.” Talking to Jollett, listening to All at Once, you sense that this is the record he was always meant to make. Loss inspired it, but writing and making it proved celebratory and revelatory. The unifying theme, Jollett says, was “the idea that life happens on many levels; that you don’t really live inside of evolving events, but in the sort of quiet, moribund moments in between the massive moments of change. And that change happens suddenly and all at once – and that that is true on a personal level, on a cultural level, on a political level”. These are big themes. On All at Once, Mikel Jollett, Stephen Chen, Noah Harmon, Anna Bulbrook and Daren Taylor look them squarely, fearlessly, in the eye, grapple with them, wrestle them to the floor.