There are some bands that hold a special place in our heart and for a few of us here at Topshop HQ, Cold War Kids do just that. The band became an iPod, iTunes and general stereo regular for us when – to the joys of many an indie kid – they launched their debut album Robbers and Cowards in 2007. NME declared them the best new band in America and the rest of the presses heralded their sound as something completely new (which is pretty special in these days of mass music and shared sounds via the ever growing music blogosphere). Our personal penchant for dancing around our bedrooms to Hang Me Up To Dry aside, we’ve been keeping track of Cold War Kids’ movements since their early days. It’s been a bit of a ride for the band – founding member Jonnie Russell left to pursue his own projects and their second album was met with mixed reviews – but we’ve got a feeling 2013 can surely be all about their second coming. The foursome are back with the new album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts and once again embracing their melodious, blues-inspired, indie rock with the same sensitive lyrics and gorgeous vocals from Nathan Willett. This time around there’s just a little more energy, it’s vibrant and varied with Miracle Miles keeping us dancing at our desks and Louder Than Ever sending us back to 2007 with big smiles.
We chatted to the face behind the bass Matt Maust about their latest album, favourite gigs and Nick Cave.
How does this new album differ from your earlier stuff?
Oh, it’s got a great mixture of songs that were kind of “built in the studio”, and then songs like we had on our first record that are very much 4 people playing live in a room, and then a few songs that are kind of a mixture of both.
Did anything specifically inspire this new album?
Nathan read a book called Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, but I haven’t read it yet. I know some of the lyrics were kind of inspired by the book. I think our new guitar player Dann, (who also produced the record) inspired us some. Gaining a new member always makes you rethink your band and style. He brought ideas to the table that were new and refreshing.
How does your creation process begin?
Very organic. For lack of a better word, I think we sometimes “jam” and ideas come that way usually. It’s a healthy mixture of spontaneity, and zeroing in on things with a microscope.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
At La Cigale in Paris. We’ve played a few times there and it’s the best crowd and room that I’ve ever been to.
What have you been listening to recently?
What artist most excites you?
Dieter Roth for visuals, Nick Cave for music, Michael Winterbottom for film, and Wim Wenders for everything.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Wim Wenders or PT Anderson.
What are your touring must-haves?
Coffee, pens and crayons, postcards, Fernet.
Watch the video for their latest track Miracle Mile, below and catch them on tour here.