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Cold War Kids — Dear Miss Lonelyhearts [2013]

 Cold War Kids — Dear Miss Lonelyhearts [2013]

     Cold War Kids — Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
Location: Long Beach, California, U.S.
Album release: April 2nd, 2013
Record Label: Downtown Records/V2
Duration:     44:27
Tracks:
01. Miracle Mile     (3:00)
02. Lost That Easy     (3:24)
03. Loner Phase     (3:07)
04. Fear & Trembling     (4:42)
05. Tuxedos     (4:10)
06. Bottled Affection     (2:45)
07. Jailbirds     (2:43)
08. Water & Power     (3:12)
09. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts     (4:35)
10. Bitter Poem     (5:06)
MEMBERS:
   Nathan Willett (vocals, piano, guitar)
   Dann Gallucci, Matt Maust (bass guitar)
   Matt Aveiro (drums, percussion)
   Jonnie Russell was previously with the band (guitar, vocals, keyboards).
Website: http://www.coldwarkids.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldwarkids
   Un album à dominante power pop, cette fois pour le groupe californien. Une évolution qui ne nous fera pas regretter le tournant lourdingue opéré sur le précédent album, bien leur en a pris!
REVIEW
The Huffington Post  |  By Kia Makarechi Posted: 03/26/2013 12:46 pm EDT  |  Updated: 03/26/2013 1:13 pm EDT   
   The Cold War Kids are back with a new album, premiering exclusively on HuffPost Entertainment. "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts," the band's first studio album since 2011's "Mine Is Yours," leaps from the start line with the previously released "Miracle Mile" and doesn't really let up.
   The record takes its inspiration from a smart work on self–examination, Nathanael West's novel "Miss Lonelyhearts." “‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts’ is taken from a book about an advice columnist who has a crisis about his readers suffering and his inability to truly help them unless he examines himself,” vocalist Nathan Willett told HuffPost. "The struggle of his character worked their way into many of the songs."
   But since this is the Cold War Kids we’re talking about, the "struggles" come to listeners in the form of well–tailored, drum–heavy tracks that offset Willett's sometimes–mournful, sometimes-elated but always haunting voice. That blend of highs and lows has long endeared the band to its fans, despite sometimes hit or miss reactions from critics.
   On "Tuxedos," Willett opens with a simple series of thoughts ("I think about eyes that watch you, I think about changes I’ve made, I think about all this fancy food poured down the drain...") spoken plainly. The song eventually takes off, but it's quiet moments like these that stand out on the disc (a similar moment of dissolution occurs on "Jailbirds," when the frenetic track drops out to once again leave almost nothing but Willett's charming wailing). The album's title track is an especially well–paced, almost elegiac masterwork that sounds like a slightly less "post"–rock take on Explosions in the Sky.
   Listen to the new album — produced by the band's own (and former Modest Mouse–r) Dann Gallucci and Matt & Kim studio maestro Lars Stalfors — above. The band's aggressive touring schedule is included after the below gallery of behind-the-scenes videos of the album's production. "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts" drops April 2 on Downtown Records and is available for pre-order in iTunes now.
Fortaken: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/dear-miss-lonelyhearts-cold-war-kids-stream_n_2956647.html
REVIEW
By Gareth O’Malley, 28 March 2013; Rating: 7.5/10
   It’s safe to say that Cold War Kids have had quite an interesting career trajectory; they’ve waited until now to release their big pop album, three albums and seven years on from their debut. ‘Robbers & Cowards’ was a nice mix of blues, rock and pop that marked the Californian band out as one to keep an eye on, but the follow–up was the difficult and dark Loyalty to Loyalty, an album which proved the band were less concerned with writing songs like ‘Hang Me Up to Dry’ and ‘Hospital Beds’, and more bothered about following their own path. Personally, I think it's their best album, but then again, it connects well with the place I was in when I first heard it. There are even those who proclaim that 2011’s underrated ‘Mine is Yours’ is the group’s best work so far. Well, those who were fond of that record are going to lap Dear Miss Lonelyhearts right up. It's a colossal album, featuring their most diverse songs yet, but also their most immediate.
   Kicking off with the explosive power–pop of ‘Miracle Mile’, a piano–driven song that the band sensibly chose as the lead single, the album features the band taking big risks and reaping huge rewards, something which is highlighted by the prominence of synth melodies and keyboard hooks in the new material. Maybe it’s just me, but for the first time it feels like they don’t have anything to prove, and are much more confident in themselves as a result. “You take yourself so serious / If we didn’t live, we’d be crying all the time,” frontman Nathan Willett states on ‘Lost That Easy’, and he could just as easily be admonishing himself. CWK are sounding looser, less tense and a great deal less anxious. He said that the band were “ready to let certain songs go further than before,” but the overall feel of Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is that they've taken several steps up, right across the board. ‘Loner Phase’ and ‘Jailbirds’ are other examples of songs on which the band embrace their pop sensibilities, but it’s not like their old style has been consigned to history — there's room for some sparseness too, as on the waltzing blues of ‘Tuxedoes’, or the kind of closeness heard in the rolling drums and hissing cymbals that open the title track.
   Not only have they figured out what works and what doesn't, but they have also finally found themselves. As clichéd as that sounds, this sounds like their previous three albums rolled into one with a whole heap of new influences and sounds thrown in. The chiming xylophone that opens the surprisingly delicate–sounding ‘Bitter Poem’, the album’s cinematic closing track, gives no indication of the huge–sounding climax it will swell to. While a title like that would hint at the band throwing out one of their more rage–fuelled songs, they throw a curveball right at the end of the record and go out on quite a high note. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts sounds like it could win over those who have been on the fence about the band up until now. There’s been a time and place for each incarnation of Cold War Kids, but this time they’ve done more than just change their sound — they've changed their outlook and ramped up their ambition, and the result is unexpectedly joyous. Who knew?
Fortaken: http://thefourohfive.com

INTERVIEW
By Danny Wright; Posted 31st March 2013, 11:00am
   Cold War Kids have been on the scene for nigh on a decade now, and during that time, they’ve been consistent, in both their ranks, and in their output.
   That is, until last year, when founding member Jonnie Russell decided — prior to recording their most recent album, ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts’ — that a life spent touring was no life at all, and suddenly quit to return to school. Luckily, the rest of the band didn’t have to search too far afield for his replacement. Ex–Modest–Mouse–r Dann Gallucci, a longtime friend and tour mate, joined the troops instead.
   Speaking to frontman Nathan Willett on a sunny spring day (in LA, anyway, it’s slightly grottier here in London), and he’s in fine form, if not quite awake yet. Even prior to coffee, he’s audibly excited to talk about the new record, which finds the quartet shifting from their trademark anthemic indie toward a more electronic-tinged direction. It’s a potentially risky move, after all, this is a band whose previous output has sat, quite happily, somewhere in land between the Kings Of Leon and The Killers; it practically falls out of the jewel–case festival ready.
   The new record’s intentions are clear, designed to show that Cold War Kids aren’t afraid of moving forward, that they may have found themselves a man down, but that was never going to stop them advancing. They’re more than ready to adapt to their new formation.
Do you feel like there’s an obvious progression between ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts’ and your last album, ‘Mine Is Yours’?
   I guess in a way it feels like an extension of where we were going with ‘Mine Is Yours’. We were trying to do something sonically with that record that had some failures and some successes and we found that we still wanted to find out more about what that space was that we were trying to explore. We’ve always been a very live band, and it’s always been very minimalist. We were trying to achieve a sonic quality that was beyond our live sound with the last record and we wanted to explore that further with this and I think we’ve done that.
Has the sound of the band has changed?
   I think the more time that passes in the band and the time you spend in the studio. It’s really interesting the different perspective you get on it.
There have been some changes in the band. How did Dann Gallucci joining come about?
   It’s interesting, because he had been playing with Modest Mouse and doing live sound tech for us so he had been a friend and been travelling with us for years — so by the time we wanted him to join, it made sense and it was a very easy transition.
Did he have an influence on the change in direction?
   Yeah definitely, he’s come in knowing the band’s sound as a live engineer and mixer so he had a better sense than anybody about how we sound and how to take what we do and make it really interesting. So he was a big part of that.
The album title, ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts’, comes from Nathanael West’s 1933 novel, right?
   It’s a novel by a guy who’s really interesting; a contemporary of F. Scott Fitzgerald and that generation and this book ‘Miss Lonelyhearts’ was about an advice columnist and he’s having this crisis about getting all these sad letters and how to respond to them. There was a lot of stuff in there that was captivating to me. I kind of liked the idea of that as the centrepiece for the album. There are a lot of issues and a lot of deep spiritual themes I wanted to explore.
   I read it about a year ago and I was kind of in the process of writing the record and I thought the title would work. But it’s kind of hard because of all the different meanings are very loaded. It’s a very dark and structured book but the title can sound very shallow, so for a while I didn’t know if this should be the title but, in the end, I decided to go for it.
Why did you choose ‘Miracle Mile’ as the first single?
   I think it connects the dots between the old us and the new us. It’s very much guitar and piano and bass drums that is very much our style but, at the same time, it had a little something new though not quite as much as other songs, which would have been more confusing as a first single.
   Miracle Mile is a street in LA that kind of represents something about LA. The culture of LA is so much about Hollywood and celebrity and we’ve always tried to set ourselves apart from that. Being an LA band is hard because we don’t want to be associated with that shallow world and success — it’s kind of about a struggle, being in a miracle mile. Like who we are, which is a not a garage/bar band but not a huge arena band either. We’re kind of between and it’s an interesting place to be.
Do your songs tend to be autobiographical in general?
   I think it’s interesting with our band how much kind of narrative, story songs were something that we did earlier. Then with the last record it was more autobiographical and now with this one I wanted to have a mergence of the two; some autobiographical stuff mixed in with some fictional stuff.
There seems to be more of an edge of darkness about this record – would that be fair?
   I think with ‘Mine Is Yours’, I tried to write from a lighter choice and there was some success and some failures. But for this record I think writing from a darker place feels more in line with the energy and mood of the music.
You’ve been together for a decade, that’s quite long in band years…
   In some ways. I mean we still have the same spirit as when we started – you try and throw yourself into it we very much threw ourselves into this and we’ve become more than the sum of our parts something we do together becomes special in a way that we don’t totally know how to describe or anticipate. That’s stayed with us even when we’ve had changes. (Full interview: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/diy-weekly/id609786090?mt=8)
Fortaken: http://www.thisisfakediy.co.uk

File:NathanWillett NY07.jpg © Nathan Willett, lead singer of Cold War Kids
Date: 7 April 2007, 23:29; Cold War Kids @ Bowery Ballroom
Author: Tammy Lo from Brooklyn, NY
File:MattMaust NY07.jpg © Matt Maust, bass player of Cold War Kids
Date: 7 April 2007, 11:25; Cold War Kids @ Bowery Ballroom 4/7/07
Author: Maryanne from Brooklyn NYFile:JonnieRussell NY07.jpg   © Jonnie Russell, guitarist of Cold War Kids
Date: 7 April 2007, 23:19; Cold War Kids @ Bowery Ballroom
Author: Tammy Lo from Brooklyn, NYFile:MattAveiro NY07.jpg © Matt Aveiro, drummer of Cold War Kids
Date: 8 April 2007, 00:17; Cold War Kids @ Bowery Ballroom
Author: Tammy Lo from Brooklyn, NY

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Cold War Kids — Dear Miss Lonelyhearts [2013]

 

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