Hot and Cold
The rising Cold War Kids play Fernwood.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Cold War Kids is one of indie rock’s most exciting treasures of the moment. But not too long ago the group was buried in obscurity.
Major breaks have helped since the release of the group’s first album in 2006, including playing the main stage at the Glastonbury Festival and having their music featured on television shows like Entourage.
But the Southern California band – playing an intimate show at Fernwood on Saturday – has relied on two other key ingredients to help them become a hipster favorite: the Internet and an impassioned whiteboy-suburban soul. A year before releasing its first album Robbers & Cowards, CWK was generating a huge buzz amongst the blogging community, resulting in many sold out shows.
“We would be in one city, and people would blog about us, and we would be in the next city, and people would say, ‘Oh we came to see you because we read the posts,’” frontman Nathan Willett told BlackBook. “It was a really helpful thing for us to get people to our shows to see what we’re about.”
The online buzz wasn’t unfounded: During a live performance of “Hospital Beds” in Reading, England, Willett bangs on the piano at high velocity as he belts out the vocals with the fervor of a gospel singer and the range of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. And the lyrics he sings hit just as hard as his fingers on the keys of the piano: “I got one friend, laying across from me/ I did not choose him/ He did not choose me.”
The foursome’s forthcoming third LP Mine Is Yours – due out in late January – was recorded in Nashville and co-produced by Jacquire King, who’s worked with the likes of Tom Waits, Modest Mouse and Norah Jones. It’s evident after listening to one of the new tracks, “Royal Blue,” that CWK is continuing to grow and unafraid to venture off the beaten path into new, ambitious territory.
“From now on/ Fly high as I want/ From now on, I’ll show my weak spots,” Willett howls.
Expect these cold kids to stay hot for a long time.