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Stylistically different, yet quintessentially Kooky, UK indie heartthrobs The Kooks have made the bold leap from their typical Brit rock to electric church music with their highly anticipated fourth studio album, Listen. Shifting from strummin’ strings to sampling, the boys have reinvented themselves, proclaiming a new lease on life.
Produced by hip-hop stylist Inflo and frontman Luke Pritchard, the album is an organic collaboration between the two artists, ensuring the band shook things up before they went stale. Almost ten years on from their highly acclaimed debut album, Inside In/Inside Out, the boys are still aching for love and keeping things uplifting and light, staying true to their tunefulness and undoubtedly securing a spot on many summer playlists.
The killer single Around Town opens the album in pure Sister Act fashion, seamlessly mixing gospel with Pritchard’s knee-weakening British twang. A lyrical simplicity paired with a damn catchy melody seal Around Town‘s fate as a budding Britpop classic and one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Watch: The Kooks – Around Town
Forgive & Forget follows with a mix of playful percussion, fuzzy bass lines and an undercurrent of ’70s funk, cementing the band’s new direction. Down, purposely released as the first single to hip fans to the band’s new path, has already received accolades for its hip-hop inspired, groove-infused loops. Presenting a stark contrast to the poignant See Me Now and their previous indie anthems, Down is cheerfully infectious. If you dig the single, chances are you’ll relish the rest of the album.
Clap-happy and energetic, the 11-track album is a soulful fusion of punchy drums, tambourines, hip-hop beats and gospel choirs. Following-on from their acclaimed third album, Junk Of The Heart, Listen marks a fresh and welcomed change for the Brighton boys.
Set to drop on next month, the new album is both expressive and eclectic from start to finish, paying homage to their vast array of influences. And although it’s a little different from what would normally be expected of The Kooks, the band have admirably and skilfully revolutionised their sound while maintaining their integrity.
The Kooks’ fourth album, ‘Listen’, is out Friday, 5th September.
Watch: The Kooks – Forgive & Forget