I've seen the Cold War Kids twice now, and my favorite thing about seeing them is they love to let people see them for free in Los Angeles. A free show is always the right idea. This time I got to see them at the iHeart Radio stage in Burbank, California. It's a very cool space, and the staff is super nice.
Part of this iHeart Radio streaming party was a line of questioning from iHeart Radio personality. It was cool to hear lead singer Nathan Willett talk about his love for Los Angeles and desire to use their new album, LA Divine, to set the record straight about the city's perception.
He told Billboard the album is "the best version of what [they've] always done," and I agree. There's nothing particularly outstanding about the new album. There's no new, adventurous sound. The freshest thing about LA Divine is the effect the tumultuous year that was 2016 had on the lyrics.
For example, Nathan told an amazing story about an art piece in New Mexico that contained a plaque celebrating those who "cross borders," calling them the bravest of us all. He said it truly stuck with him. It was a seemingly genuine pro-immigration quote. A song that didn't make it to the album held the line "LA is divine and music is worship," and so much of me wishes that song had made it. Or that we could at least hear it. One day...
Another favorite moment from the show is the story about how Bishop Briggs came to appear on "So Tied Up." Apparently, Nathan heard her hit "River" on the radio, pulled over to the side of the road and DM'd her on Twitter. He slipped into her DMs and out popped a rare Cold War Kids collab. There's a cool acoustic recording of their song here that's completely worth listening to.
To button things up, the band covered Rihanna's "Love on the Brain." It was impressive! It's cool that they acknowledge their hip hop and pop influences, and it was a interesting to hear their take on the goddess Rihanna's soulful song.
A bunch of pictures from the event that are way better than mine can be found here.