Cold War Kids play a stripped-down set in The Current studio

Watch Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids perform an acoustic version of 'Complainer' live in our studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Cold War Kids perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:19:29
  • Cold War Kids perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 19:29
  • Cold War Kids - Complainer (Live at The Current) 03:51
  • Cold War Kids - Dirt In My Eyes (Live at The Current) 04:00
  • Cold War Kids - Beyond The Pale (Live at The Current) 03:33

The Current went on the air 15 years ago today (Jan. 24, 2020), and the station has enjoyed a relationship with Cold War Kids for the duration; in fact, Cold War Kids played The Current's 10th anniversary party in 2015. Whether it was a cosmic accident or not, there's something that feels really nice to have a band with whom The Current has had a long relationship in the studio on this day.

And the two entities' histories are intertwined; Cold War Kids were founded in 2004, and Nathan Willett estimates he and his bandmates have played in The Current studio approximately six times. Willett, along with bandmate Matt Schwartz, made their latest visit to play a stripped-down set and to chat with Mac Wilson ahead of their sold-out show at First Avenue in Minneapolis.

The year 2020 finds Cold War Kids in a bright spot; they've released the first in a planned trilogy of albums, New Age Norms 1, and the second one is already recorded. Meanwhile, they've just released an EP entitled Strings & Keys which comprises acoustic renditions of songs found on New Age Norms 1 plus a cover of George Michael's "Freedom 90." Willett says it's part of a new creative period for the band. "[It gives] us a goal that was lofty and also very Cold War Kids chapter two," he says, "very new-centric, starting over and hitting the reset button."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete session.

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Songs Performed


"Complainer"
"Dirt In My Eyes"
"Beyond the Pale"
All songs appear on Cold War Kids' New Age Norms 1 and Strings & Keys, both released on the CWKTWO Corp. label.

Hosted by Mac Wilson
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web production by Luke Taylor

External Link

Cold War Kids - official site

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7 Photos

  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Matthew Schwartz of Cold War Kids in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Cold War Kids in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids at The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Matthew Schwartz of Cold War Kids. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Matthew Schwartz of Cold War Kids performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Nathan Willett and Matt Schwartz of Cold War Kids in studio
    Matthew Schwartz of Cold War Kids performs in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)