Artist Spotlight: The Black Keys

The Black Key’s 2014 album, Turn Blue

The classic soulful indie rockers, The Black Keys, just released a new single on March 8 after five years passing since the release of their ninth album, Turn Blue. The duo released “Lo/Hi” out of the blue without any promotion. Both singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney have stayed busy during their Black Keys break. Auerbach produced Cage the Elephant’s Tell Me I’m Pretty, released another solo album, Waiting On A Song, and released several projects with The Arcs. Carney has also produced some albums during this time.

The track doesn’t diverge from The Black Keys’ classic blend of soulful blues and psychedelic rock. The signature rough, metallic guitar carries the song as Auerbach sings the chorus, “You get low, low like a valley, high, high like a bird in the sky” backed by gospel-like vocals. Fans are anxiously waiting for what The Black Keys will have in store this year. They are currently being more active on their social media accounts and have been teasing pictures of studio work and what appears to be a music video that might accompany the single.

The Black Keys have transformed modern rock in the 2000s. They sample and even cover past songs and morph them into their own. The duo celebrates blues rock in a way that no other modern indie rock group has quite mastered. Their earlier work had more rough around the edges feel to it and felt raw and real. Their first album, The Big Come Up, was recorded in Carney’s basement, but they eventually moved to a professional studio to record later records resulting in more polished records.

Their most successful record to date is Brothers without a doubt. Every single track perfectly transitions into the next and the album takes the listener on a nostalgic, longing journey of past relationships. This record features instant classics that quickly rose to the top of the charts including “Everlasting Light”, “Tighten Up”, and “Howlin’ For You”. The Black Keys have received some criticism for “selling out” by allowing their songs to be featured in countless commercials and movies, but in the age of music streaming, licensing along with touring and merch sales are primarily how bands make money.

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