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Cold War Kids’ Funky New Approach Pays Off with New Singles ‘Complainer’ and ‘Fourth of July’ (Listen)

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Cold War Kids have done a lot in the indie/rock realm over the years, releasing some albums that resonated with audiences — but they’re ready for something new.

And that’s why, for the Long Beach, California-based band’s new album New Age Norms, they tried a fresh approach, linking up with producer Lars Stalfors (Foster the People, HEALTH, St. Vincent) and songwriter Bonnie McKee and Asa Taccone of Electric Guest for the new single, “Complainer.

The track, which boasts a engaging, funky bass line and some undeniably rich melodies, is an outright jam, and one can see it becoming a hit in the vein of Portugal. the Man‘s “Feel It Still,” which became a phenomenon just a couple of years back.

Another new song premiered by Cold War Kids is “4th of July,” which incorporates a bit more of the band’s “traditional” sound, but with some updated production techniques nonetheless:

Band leader Nathan Willett put the new material in context:

“For me, the songs are always the most important piece of Cold War Kids,” Willett says. “And in them, having a strong message and maintaining a positive energy and output-and not just rage and conflict-is so important, and what can set us apart. But at the same time, we’re doing an old thing: rock ‘n’ roll! I don’t want to completely intellectualize it, because we don’t have this liberal, politically correct agenda. We set out to make a rock and roll record. But, the person that I am, the band that we are, the values that we have are in these songs. They’re not tropes of rock and roll urges; they’re in pursuit of a new value, a better world. And it’s not so clear cut what those are, but these are the new age norms.”

Stay tuned for more from the band and its new album — as it’s shaping up to be a pretty big release later this year.

Catch Cold War Kids on the road in the coming months:

JULY
12 – Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival *
27 – West Linn, OR – Polo Noir *

AUGUST
3 – Long Beach, CA – Alt 98.7 Summer Camp *
9 – Waynesville, OH – Bellwether Festival *

SEPTEMBER
22 – Glen Ellen, CA – Sonoma Harvest Music Festival *

OCTOBER
4 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
5 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre **
8 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones Assembly
9 – Dallas, TX – The Rustic
10 – Houston, TX – The Rustic
11 – San Antonio, TX – The Rustic
12 – El Paso, TX – El Paso Forever ***
14 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf

NOVEMBER
14 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
15 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
16 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues Anaheim
17 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theater
18 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
20 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
22 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst

* Festival Performance
** Jeep On The Rocks w/AJR
*** Benefit Concert

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