Cold War Kids with Joe P
Saturday, February 24
701 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Cold War Kids
with Joe P
Saturday, February 24, 2024 at First Avenue
How to receive presale information
A presale is scheduled for Thursday, September 14, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (the public on-sale opens Friday at 10 a.m.). Subscribe to Cross Currents — The Current’s weekly newsletter — by midnight Wednesday, September 13, to receive details about this week’s presale for Cold War Kids with Joe P at First Avenue.
Cold War Kids
For nearly 15 years, Nathan Willett and Cold War Kids have fielded the shifts in the music landscape’s seismic activity as well as the ebbs and flows in their own camp while simultaneously sticking to their game plan. Over the course of a dozen releases 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, Cold War Kids have become a major part of the modern scene.
Coming off of the high water marks of 2014’sHold My Home with its smash single “First” and the Capitol Records-backed LA Divinein 2017 feeling mostly satiated, 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 as he began to write new material. He obsessed over the seemingly never-ending stream of Kanye West-produced records released in the summer of 2018, enamored of their breezy compactness and fresh feeling, which excited him to explore a new working relationship with his own producer of favor, Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, Foster the People). The pair entered the studio to write a very specific, of-the-moment type of album, encouraged to take the doors off of the idea of what the band was in order to see where it could go.
Willett and Stalfors incorporated some pieces of the core CWK sound while stripping away the rafter-reaching production of their past records, aiming for leaner, tighter tunes. And, taking inspiration from a slogan on a T-shirt made by the band’s bass player and resident visual artistMatt Maust, Willett had the project’s title, lyrical themes, and structure in mind even before any songs had been completed—three unique eight-song volumes called New Age Norms.
Writing from urgent, of-the-moment perspectives in order to respect and reflect the day’s normative behaviors and climate, Willett focused on a bird’s eye view of the current values he was observing all around him—the new norms of class, gender, race, and power that are creating our modern world. The first volume’s eight songs explore the connective tissue apparent to him in the landscape, with the sense of optimism and uplifting positivity he feels necessary to approach any issue, or song.
One such line—“Don’t sit around and complain about it”—provided the focal point for the first song on and written for New Age Norms, “Complainer,” a call to do something constructive rather than dwell on all the things that might drag us down. Co-written with the pop writer Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry, Rita Ora) and Electric Guest’s Asa Taccone (whose drummer ,Matthew Compton, plays drums throughout New Age Norms), “Complainer” sizzles with itsfresh mix of modern production and stand-by CWK sonic influences like Can and Talking Heads. The next song, “Fine Fine Fine,” recalls The Jam meets Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life,” a bouncy rock-and-roller featuring female backup singers and a youthful raging against aging and maturing; “Waiting for Your Love” would sound right at home on an Emotional Rescue period Rolling Stones record, but with an update of Mick Jagger’s explicit stray cat strut to a version suitable for our times.
When the onset of the pandemic brought about the dissolution of the band he’d fronted since eighth grade, Joe P found himself in isolation with time to step out and experiment on his own. From the refuge of his New Jersey basement studio, he threw himself into writing, recording and producing his most personal material to date. Posting homegrown ideas to TikTok, Joe P watched as his raw acoustic videos drew millions of views and over 300K followers in just a few months. Among those new fans was Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, who kicked Joe’s career into hyperdrive by duetting alongside his self-made “Fighting In The Car” video.
A deal with Neon Gold/Atlantic was quickly followed by the release of Joe P’s acclaimed debut EP, Emily Can’t Sing, highlighted by the viral hit singles, “All Day I Dream About (first introduced as “Adidases” in a hugely popular TikTok teaser) and “Off My Mind,” which spent 2 weeks at #1 and 9 weeks in the top 5 at Triple A radio and received a new version featuring K. Flay in February.
Following Emily Can’t Sing, Joe P released his seven-song project, French Blonde, in October 2022. The official live performance video for “French Blonde” also serves as the opening scene of Joe P’s short horror film, “If We Run,” starring Michael Gandolfini (The Many Saints of Newark), Kevin Interdonato (The Sopranos), and Joe P as himself. Joe embarked on his debut headline tour this Spring, selling out venues throughout the East Coast and Midwest. He will be performing at Maryland festival Oceans Calling in September and has headline dates on the West Coast this Fall. By the end of 2023 Joe will have headlined across the entire US.