In 1986, Regina released the pop hit "Baby Love," but while that sound was catchy (so damn catchy), her career quickly went the way of the dodo because she sounded like a carbon copy of Madonna. It happens far too often: a singer sounds so much like another singer that they end up in the proverbial bargain basement in the sky... whatever that means. Many artists, however, have such distinct voices that it's impossible to mimic or mistake them for another Fadonna (fake Madonna). Bjork. Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock. Sublime's Bradley Nowell. They all instantly come to my mind, and so does Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids. Ever since the band dropped their breakthrough debut Robbers & Cowards in 2006, the Long Beach, California, band have stuck out like a sore thumb -- and I mean that as a strong compliment. From tracks like "We Used to Vacation," "Hang Me Out to Dry," and "Hair Down" (among others) off that aforementioned LP, their unique sound broke through alt-radio and continues to be a mainstay on the genre's charts. Why wouldn't they stick around? They've proven they can take chances, toy with their style even if it means ruffling some fan feathers, and churn out countless songs that you can bob your head to, sing and dance along with, and even, possibly cry to. In other words, there's more than a unique voice at the forefront of Cold War Kids. There's a band that constantly tries to up their game, and succeeds almost every time.
Cold War Kids, which consists of Willett Dann Gallucci (guitar, vocals), Matt Maust (bass guitar), Joe Plummer (drums, percussion) and Matthew Schwartz (keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, percussion, vocals), just dropped their fifth album late last month entitled Hold My Home, and it's musically and lyrically among their best - and I'm not just saying that because they agreed to do an A-Sides session with me from within the Primary Wave Music Listening Room AKA the "A-Sides Studio" last month.
Watch two exclusive performances from Willett and an interview (both filmed by shootmepeter.com), and catch the band on the road through, at the very least, spring 2015. And if you haven't listened to them, jump on it Apache. You're doing your ears a strong disservice.
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve"based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and -- most importantly -- the songs my two-year-old-plus son gravitates toward by stomping his feet in approval. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank).
12. "Through Glass" (retro cut) - Stone Sour
11. "The Only Way Out" (debut) - Bush
10. "The Morning After" (LW-11) - Meg Myers
9. "Da Vinci" (debut) - Weezer
8. "Iris" (LW-5) - U2
7. "Crazy for You" (LW-10) - Scars on 45 (Watch their exclusive A-Sides performance here!)
6. "First" (LW-9) - Cold War Kids (Coming soon to A-Sides!)
5. "Champions of Red Wine" (LW-3) - The New Pornographers
4. "Mess is Mine" (LW-6) - Vance Joy (Watch his exclusive performance of the song for A-Sides here!)
3. "Home" (LW-4) - Dotan
2."Inside Out" (LW-2) - Spoon
1. "Beggin For Thread" (LW-1) - Banks
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Courtney Love, Air Supply, Birdy, Sleigh Bells, Aretha Franklin, Alice Cooper, Echosmith, Charli XCX, Jake Miller, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.