Cold War Kids Unveil Strings & Keys Version of Latest Single “COMPLAINER”




Produced by Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, HEALTH, Foster the
People), “Complainer” marks Cold War Kids’s first co-write with multi-platinum
songwriter Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry, Rita Ora) and Electric Guest’s Asa
Taccone. “Complainer” is currently top 25 on the alternative radio charts and
nearing the top 10 of AAA. The first new music from Cold War Kids in more than
two years, the song arrived earlier this summer alongside “4th of July,” also available now at all DSPs and streaming



“Complainer” and “4th of July” were both greeted by immediate critical applause, with Atwood magazine declaring, “Their recent songs find Cold War Kids fired up, assertive, and actively engaged…Meaningful and breathtakingly emotional, Cold War Kids’ new music is nothing short of brilliant. Their return is impassioned and charged, intellectually stimulating and provocative. Cold War Kids challenge listeners to think critically about who we are and how we interact with our world, all while providing an exciting, enjoyable soundtrack to our individual and group reflections.” Paste hailed “Complainer” as “groovy and undeniably dance-ready” while praising “4th of July” for its “smooth piano riffs and nostalgic lyrics.” “With a grooving stomp and a muted funk, ‘Complainer’ finds Cold War Kids laying down a challenge for the ineffectual dreamers of the world,” wrote Consequence of Sound. “‘4th of July’ meanwhile is something of the reverse. A piano bopper laying back in the sun, the song is about acknowledging how far Cold War Kids have come — and being careful not to lose themselves in success.”

Over their career, Cold War Kids have fielded music’s seismic
shifts while simultaneously sticking to their own game plan. Over the course of
a dozen releases – including seven studio albums, multiple EPs, and 2017’s live
collection, AUDIENCE – on majors and indies alike, non-stop tours and
the festival circuit’s biggest stages, massive radio and streaming successes as
well as a few lineup changes of their own, Nathan Willett and his band have
become a major part of the modern landscape.

Coming off of the high water marks of 2014’s HOLD MY HOME
with its smash single, “First” – and 2017’s acclaimed LA DIVINE, Willett
began to hone in on what was most exciting and integral to him in both the Cold
War Kids recipe as well as in the current music climate. While on tour in the
summer of 2018, he and the band obsessed over the seemingly never-ending stream
of Kanye West-produced records being released (particularly gravitating to
those by Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, and Kid Cudi), enamored of their breezy
compactness and fresh feeling. Willett became excited to explore a working
relationship with his longtime producer of favor, Lars Stalfors. Upon Willett’s
return to Los Angeles, the pair entered the studio to write a very specific
type of album.

“The idea that those Kanye records were coming out every month
felt so cool, very of the moment,” Willett says. “Eight songs, a very
digestible amount of music that just keeps coming. And it really sunk in how
fun it was to experience those in real time with all of us together. I wanted
to do that with Lars – to make a record with just a writer and a producer. So
it began a whole new chapter, what I would call Cold War Kids 2.0. I think the
approach, sonically, was in taking apart the idea of what the band is and just
trying to take the doors off a bit to see where it can go.”

“Complainer,” is a call to transcend and do something constructive
rather than dwell on all the things that might drag us down, its message
inspired Willett throughout the recording process. “4th of July,” with
Willett’s falsetto delivering a laid-back but withering chorus as the beat pops
smoothly around him, is a song about the mixed feelings Americans can encounter
on patriotic holidays spent in celebration but without a context of

“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.”

Cold War Kids is: Nathan Willett (vocals, piano, guitar), Matt Maust (bass guitar), David Quon (guitar, backing vocals), Matthew Schwartz (keyboards, backing vocals, guitar, percussion), and Joe Plummer (drums, percussion).






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