ENTERTAINMENT
03/26/2013 12:46 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

'Dear Miss Lonelyhearts': Cold War Kids Return With New Concept Album (EXCLUSIVE STREAM)

The Cold War Kids are back with a new album, premiering exclusively on HuffPost Entertainment. "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts," the band's first studio album since 2011's "Mine Is Yours," leaps from the start line with the previously released "Miracle Mile" and doesn't really let up.

The record takes its inspiration from a smart work on self-examination, Nathanael West's novel "Miss Lonelyhearts." "'Dear Miss Lonelyhearts' is taken from a book about an advice columnist who has a crisis about his readers suffering and his inability to truly help them unless he examines himself," vocalist Nathan Willett told HuffPost. "The struggle of his character worked their way into many of the songs."

But since this is the Cold War Kids we're talking about, the "struggles" come to listeners in the form of well-tailored, drum-heavy tracks that offset Willett's sometimes-mournful, sometimes-elated but always haunting voice. That blend of highs and lows has long endeared the band to its fans, despite sometimes hit or miss reactions from critics.

On "Tuxedos," Willett opens with a simple series of thoughts ("I think about eyes that watch you, I think about changes I've made, I think about all this fancy food poured down the drain...") spoken plainly. The song eventually takes off, but it's quiet moments like these that stand out on the disc (a similar moment of dissolution occurs on "Jailbirds," when the frenetic track drops out to once again leave almost nothing but Willett's charming wailing). The album's title track is an especially well-paced, almost elegiac masterwork that sounds like a slightly less "post"-rock take on Explosions in the Sky.

Listen to the new album -- produced by the band's own (and former Modest Mouse-r) Dann Gallucci and Matt & Kim studio maestro Lars Stalfors -- above. The band's aggressive touring schedule is included after the below gallery of behind-the-scenes videos of the album's production. "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts" drops April 2 on Downtown Records and is available for pre-order in iTunes now.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Cold War Kids - "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts"

April
3- Englewood, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre
4- Omaha, Neb. @ Slowdown
5- Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
6- Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
9- Columbus, Oh. @ Newport Music Hall
10- Boston, Mass. @ Paradise Rock Club
11- Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
12- Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer
13- New York, N.Y. @ Webster Hall
15- Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
16- Nashville, Tenn. @ Cannery Ballroom
17- Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade
24- Paris, France @ Batacian
27- Zurich, Switzerland @ Plaza
29- Vienna, Austria @ Flex
30- Berlin, Germany @ C-Club

May
1- Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso
2- Cologne, Germany @ Gebaeude 9
6- Copenhagen, Germany @ Pumphuset
7- Hamburg, Germany @ Grunspan
9- London, U.K. @ Forum
10- Manchester, U.K. @ Ritz
16- Seattle, Wash. @ Neptune Theatre
17- Vancouver, British Columbia @ Vogue Theatre
18- Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
23- San Francisco, Calif. @ Regency Ballroom
24- Los Angeles, Calif. @ Henry Fonda Theatre
25- Solana Beach, Calif. @ Belly Up Tavern

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