After teasing their first new bit of music in over nine — nine! — years, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Karen O. (vocals), Nick Zinner (keys, guitar, drum machine, bass) and Brian Chase (drums) — recently announced their long-awaited and highly anticipated fifth album, Cool It Down.
The forthcoming album is slated for a September 30, 2022 release through Secretly Canadian and features cover photography by Alex Prager. The eight-song album reportedly is an expert distillation of the band’s gifts and will impel the listener to move, cry and listen closely.
“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, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O writes in a statement to the band’s fans. “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. 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.
Cool It Down‘s first single, the Dave Sitek-produced “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” featuring Perfume Genius is a slow-burning and cathartic power ballad centered around glistening and droning synths, Chase’s thunderous drumming, a distortion-driven guitar solo by Zinner, arena rock friendly hooks paired with the lush interplay between Karen O’s and Perfume Genius imitable vocals. Sonically “Spiting Off The Edge” to my ears sounds like a slick yet subtle synthesis of Show Your Bones and It’s Blitz — and as a result, the song is simultaneously urgent yet an exercise in restraint.
Lyrically, the song reflects on the current state of the environment, and the need for honesty about the damage we’re inflicting on the Earth. “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 defiant,” Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O explains. “It’s galvanizing and there’s hope there.”
The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s longtime collaborator Cody Critcheloe a.k.a. Ssion, who designed the cover art for Fever To Tell, and who also directed Perfume Genius’ “Queen” directed the accompanying video which stars Perfume Genius as an avenging angel limo driver to Karen O’s desert rebel queen.
“A note on this video, 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,” Karen O notes. “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.”
The trio will be playing a handful of dates this summer and fall including a highly anticipated October 1, 2022 stop at Forest Hills Stadium. Check out the tour dates below.
June 5: O2 Apollo @ Manchester, UK [Support: English Teacher]
June 7: O2 Academy Brixton @ London, UK [Support: Dry Cleaning, Anika]
June 8: O2 Academy Brixton @ London, UK [Support: Porridge Radio, Anika]
June 11: Primavera Sound 2022 @ Barcelona, ES
July 20: Margaret Court Arena @ Melbourne, Australia [Support: Wet Leg]
July 22: Splendour in the Grass 2022 @ Yelgun, Australia
July 24: Hordern Pavilion @ Sydney, Australia [Support: Wet Leg]
July 29: Osheaga Music and Arts Festival 2022 @ Montreal, QC
September 18: Riot Fest @ Chicago, IL
October 1: Forest Hills Stadium @ New York, NY [Special Guest TBA, The Linda Linda]
October 6: Hollywood Bowl @ Los Angeles, CA [Japanese Breakfast, The Linda Lindas]