Cold War Kids: Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
When Cold War Kids released their debut LP, Robbers & Cowards in 2006, the band created waves in the indie scene for their storming energy and vocalist Nathan Willett’s attention-grabbing, brilliant bellow. This band could have been the victim of its indie scene at the time, but they have emerged seven years later with Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, their fourth record and strongest to date.
“I was supposed to do great things/I know the road was long/But I wasn’t raised to shoot for fame/I had the safety on.” Such declaration in the piano-driven opener, “Miracle Mile,” announces the album’s intentions. This isn’t a record meant to set the charts on fire or soothe members of the indie set who like things to stay the same. Willett’s voice remains a driving force with this band, but beyond that, the music has also become fascinating.
Driving this point home is the second track, “Lost That Easy,” which is swimming with synth and artificial tones, granting a new dimension to the already established rock feel. “Tuxedos,” by contrast, features dreamily distorted vocals and slow guitar more reminiscent of ‘50s rock rather than anything modern. While Cold War Kids try on new styles, it’s clear that they have become comfortable with their ability to inhabit each. Nothing feels forced here. Instead, it’s clear that the band has matured enough to take on these new sounds and excel as modern purveyors of solid alternative rock.