Out Now: Listen to The Killers’ Intimate New Album ‘Pressure Machine’ (ft. a Guest Spot from Phoebe Bridgers)

the killers pressure machine

You might not expect to hear strings open a record from The Killers, the Las Vegas band known for bombast and synth-led pop/rock for the past two decades or so — but that’s how Pressure Machine, the group’s new album out today, Aug. 13, begins.

A subdued, hushed and uniquely focused set of material, Pressure Machine showcases a more reflective side from Brandon Flowers and his colleagues. The follow-up to 2020’s Imploding the Mirage, Pressure Machine “lives squarely in the hometown of Nephi, Utah,” per a news release. That’s where Flowers originated, and the small-town focus lends itself to quieter ruminations on the American condition.

The album release also came with a video for “Quiet Town,” a track bursting with confessional earnestness, harmonica and the Springsteen-ian inspiration that has long been a factor in the Killers’ music over the years:

Click here to pick up Pressure Machine on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Pressure Machine on LP from our Rock Cellar Store

The realities of the pandemic was partly behind this record’s inspiration:

When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the promotional run and worldwide tour for Imploding the Mirage, “everything came to this grinding halt,” says frontman Brandon Flowers. “And it was the first time in a long time for me that I was faced with silence. And out of that silence this record began to bloom, full of songs that would have otherwise been too quiet and drowned out by the noise of typical Killers records.” Indeed, for the first time since 2004, the relentless momentum and pressures of being in a globally-renowned, stadium-shaking band stopped. Enter Pressure Machine: a view into the everyday realities of a small American town with a stark, tough beauty, and The Killers’ most restrained and resonant album yet.

Spoken-word passages from actual residents of Nephi pepper the record, lending an undeniable authenticity to the proceedings.

Nephi is the place Flowers spent his formative years (10-16), saying “had it not been for advancements in the automotive industry, Nephi in the 90s could have been the 1950s.” The album’s songs are based on the memories and stories of people that impacted him growing up, interspersed with commentary from current Nephi locals about their town. “We were discussing [Brandon] moving to Nephi as a kid and being stuck in the middle of nowhere,” says the band’s drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. “And during Covid-19, it started to feel like we were all in the middle of nowhere.” Concurs Flowers, “I discovered this grief that I hadn’t dealt with,” he says, “many memories of my time in Nephi are tender. But the ones tied to fear or great sadness were emotionally charged. I’ve got more understanding now than when we started the band, and hopefully I was able to do justice to these stories and these lives in this little town that I grew up in.”

Phoebe Bridgers turns up for a guest appearance on “Runaway Horses,” the only collaboration on the record:

The end result is one of the more affecting — and intimate — releases from the Killers to date, showcasing a depth of focus that goes a long way toward honoring Flowers’ vision for the project. Stream it below.

The Killers will resume their touring duties in late 2022, after pushing their scheduled plans back due to the pandemic:

Fri August 19, 2022 Vancouver BC Rogers Arena
Sat August 20, 2022 Seattle WA Climate Pledge Arena
Sun August 21, 2022 Portland OR Moda Center
Tues August 23, 2022 San Francisco CA Chase Center
Wed August 24, 2022 San Diego CA Pechanga Arena
Fri August 26, 2022 Las Vegas NV T-Mobile Arena
Sat August 27, 2022 Los Angeles CA Banc of California Stadium
Tues August 30, 2022 Salt Lake City UT Vivint Arena
Wed August 31, 2022 Denver CO Ball Arena
Thurs September 8, 2022 Houston TX Toyota Center
Fri September 9, 2022 Austin TX Moody Center
Sat September 10, 2022 Fort Worth TX Dickies Arena
Tues September 13, 2022 Miami FL FTX Arena
Wed September 14, 2022 Orlando FL Amway Center
Fri September 16, 2022 Atlanta GA State Farm Arena
Sat September 17, 2022 Nashville TN Bridgestone Arena
Sun September 18, 2022 St. Louis MO Chaifetz Arena
Tues September 20, 2022 St. Paul MN Xcel Energy Center
Wed September 21, 2022 Chicago IL United Center
Fri September 23, 2022 Toronto ON Scotiabank Arena
Sat September 24, 2022 Montreal QC Bell Centre
Sun September 25, 2022 Verona NY Turning Stone Event Center
Thurs September 29, 2022 Washington DC Capital One Arena
Fri September 30, 2022 New York NY Madison Square Garden
Sat October 1, 2022 New York NY Madison Square Garden
Mon October 3, 2022 Boston MA TD Garden
Tues October 4, 2022 University Park PA Bryce Jordan Center
Thurs October 6, 2022 Pittsburgh PA Petersen Events Center
Fri October 7, 2022 Cleveland OH Wolstein Center
Sat October 8, 2022 Detroit MI Little Caesars Arena

By Rock Cellar Magazine Staff

Staff writer from Rock Cellar Magazine