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Californian quartet Cold War Kids found their fame the old fashioned way. Almost-constant touring, punctuated only by breaks to record an album or an EP, before then hitting the road again has earned them a loyal following both in their native America and overseas. Now after three albums and 11 singles, they release album number four, entitled ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts‘.

The album starts with first single ‘Miracle Mile‘ which sets the bar impressively high for the rest of the album. A pounding piano and drum introduction soon cascades in to a righteous and uplifting affair which sees frontman Nathan Willett really pushing the boat out vocally.

Fear and Trembling‘ is the fourth track and features an atypical brass section, which works fantastically in accompaniment to the plentiful vocal harmonising which features throughout. The drums here are incredibly well produced, driving the track forward into it’s crashing, whirlwind of a climax.

Track six, ‘Bottled Affection‘, features some of the best production heard across the whole of ‘…Lonelyhearts‘, matched only by those seen on ‘Miracle Mile‘. An unusual introduction soon gives way to an optimistic synth and a series of well timed hand claps that add to the songs timbre, giving it that little bit more depth. The layering of instruments here makes it one of the strongest songs on the album, particularly as they stop and start again at different intervals, giving the song a feeling of constant erratics and perpetual motion, which works heavily in the bands favour, whilst following track ‘Jailbirds‘ features an uplifting piano melody and some the best vocal performance of the entire album, hands down. The last minute of the song is given over to a cacophonous assault of percussion which sees the song draw to a close in style.

Much like ‘Jailbirds‘, the album draws it’s conclusion with the same high standards that have been perpetuated throughout. ‘Bitter Poem‘ sees a delicate veneer of synth form the back drop to Willet’s evocative vocals, and the return of the impactive drums courtesy of Matt Aveiro. The latter half of ‘Bitter Poem‘ is particularly emotive and makes sure that the album ends much as it begins. With a bang.

Four albums in and it’s clear that Cold War Kids are a band with an almost constant supply of creative juices. I could have easily written about every song featured across the course of ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts‘, but the fact of the matter is that it’s an album that needs to be explored again and again before all it’s nuanced ornamentation reveals itself. Deftly crafted and honed to a tee with equally impressive production values, Cold War Kids have created an album that anyone who considers themselves a fan of music should listen to, no matter what their preferred genre.

8/10

About The Author

Dave Beech

Having spent my formative years torn between crying in my bedroom to tedious early '00s emo records and playing in a couple of terrible punk bands, I decided I was far better suited to writing about music than playing it. Now, approaching my mid-twenties all of a sudden, armed with little more than an unhealthy penchant for sarcasm and an acquired taste for warm cider, I can mostly be found haunting the unsigned circuit of Manchester as often as I can the city's bigger venues, championing those bands who don't quite get the attention they deserve, as much as panning those who get too much. Twitter: @dave__beech