Cowards! Here’s the sun
So bow your heads
In the absence of bombs
Draw your breath
Wow Bob Wow, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned from the void with the announcement of new music: the explosive single “Spitting Off the Edge of the World”, and of a new album due at the end of September via Secretly Canadian, entitled Cool It Down. The wait is over for fans who have patiently hoped-for new music from the band, and the new single reflects the grief, mourning, and pure exhaustion we collectively experience at the moment.
“…writing these songs came with its fair share of chills, tears, and euphoria when the pain lifts and truth is revealed,” said Karen O in a statement. “Don’t have to tell you how much we’ve been going through in the last nine years since our last record, because you’ve been going through it too, and we love you and we see you, and we hope you feel the feels from the music we’ve made. No shying away from the feels, or backing down from what’s been gripping all of us these days. So yes we’ve taken our time, happy to report when it’s ready it really does just flow out.”
The plodding, shimmering…and heavy single features the sublime Perfume Genius. Eschewing their usual frenzied pace, Karen O’s unmistakable vocals now take a slow, leisurely stroll through a pensive, psychedelic soundscape. It’s a heartbreaker. This is a song that quickly burrows deep in your heart and springs tears to your eyes. The controlled anger and disappointment of the state of the world explodes in slow motion and then goes full Mad Max in the beautiful video directed by Cody Critcheloe (who did the artwork for Fever To Tell). Human saliva becomes a symbol of patriarchy, regeneration, Karen O’s mythology, and danger in a pandemic-era world, beautifully illustrated in the video. (And, for good measure, Mike Hadreas turns into a demon.)
The new song is, of course, inspired by ongoing environmental degradation. “I see the younger generations staring down this threat, and they’re standing on the edge of a precipice, confronting what’s coming with anger and defiance,” Karen O said in a statement. “It’s galvanizing, and there’s hope there.”
Karen O called the video a “dream collaboration with one of our favorite artists…the shoot in Kansas City was dream-like, the dreams you have after eating something really greasy right before bed; bizarre, poetic, and intense. Perfume Genius was incredibly gracious to roll in the very cold mud as my co-pilot and steal scene after scene with his surreal charm. We trusted Cody implicitly, he surpassed expectations and gave us our November Rain. YYY’s spirit is alive and well through the eyes of Cody Critcheloe. Custom Yeahs limo was largely his handiwork, fueled on love.”
Watch the video for “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” below:
Dave Sitek produced the single, which marks Yeah Yeah Yeahs debut for Secretly Canadian. This is their first piece of original music since Mosquito.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs will appear in the UK this month with a variety of supporting artists, including English Teacher, Dry Cleaning, Anika, and Porridge Radio. The band will also travel throughout Europe, Australia, Canada, and the US.