Since starting up in 2008, Free Energy has just about been through it all. From being signed early on to James Murphy’s DFA Records + multinational outfit EMI to being produced by Murphy himself to being on everyone’s best new bands list from Rolling Stone to Spin to opening for musical juggernauts like Weezer—Free Energy already seems to have lived far beyond their five years.

But instead of dwelling on perceived successes or challenges of the past, the band has turned its focus inward, spending time + energy refining their sound and doing some maturing that was maybe missed with such a meteoric rise early on. Free Energy self-released their sophomore full-length, Love Sign, this year and they’ve never sounded better.

Now, with the band—originally from Philly by way of Minnesota—scattered between the city of brotherly love and Los Angeles, Free Energy’s enjoying a short sojourn together out west, holding a month-long residency at LA’s Echo and spending some time recording original demos and cover songs in the nearby desert as they find their spirit animal.

Listen to the interview we did with frontman Paul Sprangers (middle, above) last week about Free Energy’s not-so-average evolution as a band, what they view as success, and how they’ve seen the music industry change firsthand over the years. And apologies—we had to cut a little bit at the start of the interview due to an audio problem.

Be sure to give a listen to Free Energy’s excellent new cover of Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby” below—click through to their SoundCloud page to download the track. You can download their album, Love Sign, via iTunes and order the CD + vinyl from the band’s site…where you can also pick up some nice Free Energy friendship bracelets.

Anegelenos can catch Free Energy at their final residency show tonight at the Echo along with Don’t Stop or We’ll Die, The Rebel Light, The Black Apples, and comedian DC Pierson. The show’s free, just RSVP via the Echo.

Photo by Dominic Neitz.