As the band re-emerges today, a full 15 years after making its major label debut — with a new album, Every Kind of Light (Ryko), and a U.S. tour that brings the reinvigorated quartet to Slim’s in S.F. on Wed., Sept. 7 — little has changed in the band’s bracing blend of big, crunching guitar chords, complex keyboard ornamentations and sumptuous, alternately smooth and tangy vocal harmonies. But a lot of turbulent water has passed under the bridge.
“We’ve had this amazingly up-and-down relationship over the years,” singer-guitarist Jon Auer said in a phone call earlier this week from Seattle, talking about his partnership with singer-guitarist-keyboardist Ken Stringfellow. “There’s something about what we create when we do work together that just seems to be indestructible. We’ve done things to each other and said things to each other that perhaps would cause most people to not even bother talking to each other ever again. Yet for some reason we feel still drawn to making music together.”