Cold War Kids announce new album, Hold My Home, stream “First”

coldwarhomelp

 

Cold War Kids have announced details of their fifth studio album, Hold My Home, which will arrive October 21st via Downtown Records. It serves as the follow-up to 2013’s Dear Miss Lonelyhearts.

The 11-track album was produced by guitarist Dan Gallucci and frequent collaborator Lars Stalfors (Mars Volta, Matt and Kim) at the band’s personal studio in San Jose, California.

Already we’ve heard the stirring lead single, “All This Could Be Yours”. Now, to coincide with today’s announcement, the band has shared “First”. The track is grand and regaling, a sonically uplifting mix of jittery guitars, handclap rhythms, and dynamic vocal harmonies. Again, Cold War Kids aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but rather emphasizing their core strengths of solid, enjoyable guitar rock.

Listen in below:

 

Hold My Home Tracklist:
01. All This Could Be Yours
02. First
03. Hot Coals
04. Drive Desperate
05. Hotel Anywhere
06. Go Quietly
07. Nights & Weekends
08. Hold My Home
09. Flower Drum Song
10. Harold Bloom
11. Hear My Baby Call

The band has also shared the music video for “All This Could Be Yours”, a black-and-white clip of one woman’s journey around a big city. Watch it below.

 

Album Review: Willis Earl Beal – A Place That Doesn’t Exist

Singer, songwriter Willis Earl Bearl

Singer, songwriter Willis Earl Bearl

Chicago songwriter Willis Earl Beal makes unkempt, avant-garde folk that evokes everyone from Blind Willie McTell to Tilt-era Scott Walker. On his new EP, A Place That Doesn’t Exist, which he dropped on a whim last week as an apology after canceling a string of European shows, Beal seems to have found a happy medium between his two idiosyncratic extremes, balancing the noisy, nomadic lo-fi of 2012’s Acousmatic Sorcery with the studio-sharpened orchestration of last year’s Nobody knows.

No song here is quite able match the devastatingly gorgeous “Everything Unwinds” from Nobody knows., but there’s still plenty to linger on. Opener “Times of Gold” manages to be both a beautiful ballad and an effective exercise in sparseness, featuring only Beal’s weary croon, an acoustic guitar, and the warm crackle of a stereo. The industrial wobble of “Took My Heart”, meanwhile, would make for a convincing TV on the Radio outtake, with Beal doing his best Tunde Adebimpe impression by whistling over the song’s cacophonous outro. Other standout cuts follow the “Times of Gold” model for sonic simplicity, namely the country-tinged “Babble On” and “The Axeman”, which pairs a wacky, near grotesque story about a mystery man with “a bald head and a fat midsection” to a breezy, island shuffle.

The biggest flaw of A Place That Doesn’t Exist is the overabundance of spoken word songs, which are deliberately goofy and disrupt the record’s short-lived melancholic momentum. Perhaps the rambling, Wild Man Fischer-esque “Toilet Parade (Ode to NYC)” would fit snugly on Acousmatic Sorcery, but here it doesn’t mesh with the folk ballads at all. More than anything, though, this gripe is reflective of Beal’s songwriting abilities. You wish all of the EP’s eight songs were folk ballads because he’s so damn good at writing them. A Place That Doesn’t Exist may be a summation of his career so far, a melting pot of every quirk and artistic inclination. But, in throwing everything against the wall, it’s not hard to see what he does best.

Essential Tracks: “Took My Heart”, “Times of Gold”, and “Babble On”

We’ll pass along A Place That Doesn’t Exist release info if and when it emerges. Here’s the tracklist:

1 Times of Gold
2 Bright Copper Noon
3 Took My Heart
4 The Axeman
5 Toilet Parade (Ode to NYC)
6 Babble On
7 Hazel Eyes
8 A Place That Doesn’t Exist