Cold War Kids preview 'L.A. Divine' with a stripped-down set in The Current studio

Cold War Kids perform a stripped-down version of "Love Is Mystical" from their forthcoming 2017 album, "L.A. Divine," in the studio of The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Cold War Kids perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • Cold War Kids perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 17:33
  • Cold War Kids - Love Is Mystical (Live on The Current) 03:45
  • Cold War Kids - Can We Hang On (Live on The Current) 03:48
  • Cold War Kids - First (Live on The Current) 03:17

Cold War Kids enjoyed great success in 2015 with their song "First"; the song peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and became the band's highest charting single. But being on top also presents its own challenges. "The scariest thing in the world to me is the idea of having a song do great, riding that wave to the end, and then starting a new record with all of the feelings and expectations that come with that," says Cold War Kids' Nate Willett.

But it was in that context that Cold War Kids, working with producer Lars Stalfors, recorded their next album, L.A. Divine, which is scheduled for release on April 7, 2017. Before then, Cold War Kids have been on tour, and that includes a sold-out show at First Avenue in Minneapolis. While in the Twin Cities, Cold War Kids stopped at The Current for a stripped-down set hosted by Mary Lucia.

The process of recording L.A. Divine gave Cold War Kids a chance to unplug and focus. "You learn and grow with writing and in the studio over the years," Willett explains, "but especially in a band context, it's very easy to never talk about things because we're so busy … You can't possibly talk about all the things that happen because there's so much going on. So to have that kind of reflection period with [album producer Lars Stalfors] … was very helpful."

But for Willett, the real business of it is the music itself. "In a way, no talk means anything until you just start working on music," he says. "When you get a bunch of work done, and then you can step away and feel like you have something, then you can see the direction."

And although there is pressure in the aftermath of having a big hit single in "First," Willett also embraces the excitement that accompanies what comes next. "What a total rare miracle to have a song do so well and have a whole new audience be introduced to your music, and to be sort of allowed to continue doing it is incredible," he says. "And on top of that, we signed a new record deal with Capitol [which is] going to put this record out. It was a lot of new.

"The confidence and just a feeling of importance and focus that came with knowing that more people are going to be paying attention to our band, and this record specifically, than ever, and more people are excited about what we're doing," Willett continues, "it's such an incredible thing."

Use the audio player to listen to the complete in-studio session with Cold War Kids.

Songs Performed


"Love Is Mystical"
"Can We Hang On"
"First"
The first two songs are from Cold War Kids forthcoming album, L.A. Divine, releasing April 7, 2017, on Capitol Records. The third song is from Cold War Kids' 2014 album, Hold My Home, available on Downtown Records.

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Elijah Deaton-Berg
Photos by Emmet Kowler
Web feature by Luke Taylor

More Video


https://youtu.be/8mPIzKSwizs

Resources


Cold War Kids - official site

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5 Photos

  • Cold War Kids perform an acoustic set in studio
    Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids in The Current studio. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Cold War Kids perform an acoustic set in studio
    Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids in The Current studio. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Cold War Kids perform an acoustic set in studio
    Cold War Kids perform an acoustic set in The Current studio. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Cold War Kids perform an acoustic set in studio
    Matt Maust of Cold War Kids in The Current studio. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)
  • Cold War Kids perform an acoustic set in studio
    Matthew Schwartz of Cold War Kids performs in The Current studio. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)

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