Some nine years after the release of their last album, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back with a killer new song, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” and a new album, “Cool It Down,” due Sept. 30 on Secretly Canadian. The group begins a set of European and Australian tour dates next month, moving over to North America later in the summer.
The new song, a slow and majestic collaboration with Perfume Genius (a.k.a Mike Hadreas), features his distinctive vocals and keyboards but also plays to the band’s strengths, with Chase delivering his powerhouse drumming, Zinner’s towering guitars and O’s unmistakable vocals. It recalls the group’s electronic-based 2009 album, “It’s Blitz!,” more than their rockier 2013 album “Mosquito,” and is produced by the group’s longtime producer, TV on the Radio vet Dave Sitek.
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The members — singer Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase — all worked on solo projects, this is a full-scale return. During an interview for Lux Prima, her dazzling 2019 project with Danger Mouse, Karen O revealed that the group had not only completed its contractual obligations to its former label, Interscope, but was “alive and well” and still “best friends,” and noted that when they next worked together it would be truly in a pressure-free “spirit of collaboration.”
According to the announcement, the song lyric’s lyrics reflect on the desperate state of the Earth’s environment. Karen explains, “I see the younger generations staring down this threat, and they’re standing on the edge of a precipice, confronting what’s coming with anger and defiance,” she says. “It’s galvanizing, and there’s hope there.” It is accompanied by a video directed by longtime collaborator, Cody Critcheloe (aka Ssion).
Of the album, Karen says, “To all who have waited, our dear fans, thank you, our fever to tell has returned, and writing these songs came with its fair share of chills, tears, and euphoria when the pain lifts and truth is revealed. Don’t have to tell you how much we’ve been going through in the last nine years since our last record, because you’ve been going through it too, and we love you and we see you, and we hope you feel the feels from the music we’ve made. No shying away from the feels, or backing down from what’s been gripping all of us these days. So yes we’ve taken our time, happy to report when it’s ready it really does just flow out.
“The record is called ‘Cool It Down’ which is snagged from a lesser known Velvet Underground Song,” she continues. “I told Alex Prager whose photo graces our record cover that her image speaks to sweeping themes in the music and sums up how I, Karen, feel existentially in these times! But there’s always more to the story. This is how our new story begins, we present to you with heads bowed and fists in the air ‘Spitting Off the Edge of the World’ featuring Perfume Genius.
“A note on this video,” she concludes. “It’s a dream collaboration with one of our favorite artists of the 21st century Cody Critcheloe who did the artwork for our first record back in 2003 and has been making visionary music videos for the last decade. The time to collaborate again came with ‘Spitting,’ the shoot in Kansas City was dream-like, the dreams you have after eating something really greasy right before bed; bizarre, poetic, and intense. Perfume Genius was incredibly gracious to roll in the very cold mud as my co pilot and steal scene after scene with his surreal charm. We trusted Cody implicitly, he surpassed expectations and gave us our November Rain. YYY’s spirit is alive and well through the eyes of Cody Critcheloe. Custom Yeahs limo was largely his handiwork, fueled on love.”
Cool It Down tracklist:
Spitting Off the Edge of the World feat. Perfume Genius
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