In November, Southern California stalwarts Cold War Kids released their seventh album — and the first of an album trilogy — “New Age Norms 1.” It found the band expanding its sound and utilizing for the first time contributions from co-writers such as Bonnie McKee, Mikky Ekko, producer Lars Stalfors and members of Electric Guest. Their calling remained the soulfully buoyant vocals of frontman Nathan Willett, especially on singles such as the socially observant “Complainer” and the piano ballad “Beyond the Pale.”
The release came a year after CWK’s double-album retrospective, and it spawned a host of “Complainer” remixes and an EP titled “Strings & Keys” — acoustic versions of four songs from the album along with a George Michael cover.
Cold War Kids returned this week with a teaser for “New Age Norms 2,” in the way of “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now.” And any longtime fans who miss the Kids’ more rough-hewn sound will like this one. Written by the band as a group — Willett, bassist Matt Maust, guitarist David Quon, multi-instrumentalist Matthew Schwartz and drummer Joe Plummer — it’s a loose, fuzzy stomp produced by Grammy winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Kacey Musgraves, The War On Drugs).
“‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now’ is about all those times when I imagine what it’d be like to have my freedom,” Willett says. “You’re in a relationship and you got too cozy — you start wondering what it’s like on the other side. But when you actually get it — you crash and burn.”
There’s no announced release date yet for “New Age Norms 2.”
||| Stream: “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now”
||| Also: Stream the “Strings & Keys” EP and the “Complainer” remixes
||| Also: Stream “New Age Norms 1”
||| Live: Cold War Kids headline the Novo on Friday, Feb. 21, with Overcoats opening. Tickets.