Cold War Kids remain upbeat and experimental with “Hold My Home”

Courtesy of Downtown Records
Courtesy of Downtown Records

Fans of “Robbers and Cowards” will enjoy the latest album dropped by the Cold War Kids. “Hold My Home” has the same upbeat energy and variety that is unique only to the Cold War Kids. After ten years of being together, Cold War Kids have the same momentum they’ve had since their 2006 debut album. From what this album contains, they show no sign of slowing down. This is one of those few albums where a band can simultaneously branch out and experiment with styles that they have never touched yet still keep their trademark sound that has made them a staple in indie and alternative rock.

From the first track “All This Could Be Yours” the familiar banging of the piano and fast-tempo drums keep heads bobbing and feet tapping. In an instant throwback to previous albums from Cold War Kids, this lively soul and funk-inspired track pays homage to their previous work while still being a fresh new song. The following tracks are able to keep up that momentum and keep you smiling as you listen along. One of the prime examples would be “Hotel Anywhere.” It’s one of those songs that could easily become a staple of summer listening for alternative music with all the positive vibes and uptempo energy it brings to the album — it is definitely one of the most energetic tracks, if not the most energetic one of all.

There are a few slow moments between the hyper dance-inducing tracks that let the listener take a breather. “Harold Bloom” is an absolutely beautiful track, with the only thing accompanying frontman Nathan Willett’s voice being a keyboard and tambourine. After that, “Hear My Baby Call” is the last track in the album, another slow song. The album progresses from fast to slow tempo, but crafts it in a way that doesn’t bore the listener and keeps them hooked in until the last second.

However, at times it can still be jarring and take you out of the music for a bit because there is such a radical change in instruments and tempo. You have to check that you are listening to the same album. The most notable shift in the album’s sound is going from “Go Quietly” to “Nights and Weekends.” “Go Quietly” is one of those tracks with a very prominent bass line and has few instruments for a simple melody, which showcases Willett’s soulful voice beautifully. Meanwhile “Nights and Weekends” features synth and electronic elements that are new to the album. If there are a couple of songs before with the same instruments it would be less bizarre, but it makes it seem out of place and is really distracting, especially since “Nights and Weekends” is so close to the end of the album.

To listeners acquainted with Cold War Kids’ sound this album is spectacular. While some of the transitions between new experimental tracks fall a bit flat, most of the songs get it very right, combining old soul and folk with alternative rock, a feat only the Cold War Kids can pull off. Filled with upbeat tracks that are highly entertaining, this album is pure fun for listeners.

Rating: 4 stars

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