A remarkable eight years after their debut album came out, The Kooks are set to release their fourth, Listen, on September 1st on Virgin/EMI. If you’re anything like me, the thought of this provokes youthful excitement, stemming, no doubt, from the Inside In/Inside Out days, way back when the Brighton band set free their first 14 track masterpiece.
The Kooks have come a long way since the late noughties, when teenagers had the likes of Naïve, an audible embodiment of generic relationship sadness, and She Moves in Her Own Way, a soundtrack for happier times, on repeat.
The unmistakable and pleasing familiarity of Luke Pritchard’s voice remains, however their sound is fresh, as the Sunday Times regards the ‘R&B change of direction’ that the four-piece have taken. R&B is indeed fitting, as new single Around Town (due to be released on June 15th) presents, with prominent drumming and a noticeable usage of the hi-hat, mixed with hand-percussion.
What else can be expected when the 11 track album (15 on the deluxe), Listen, has been produced by Luke Pritchard and hip-hop’s Inflo?
Alexis Nunez has outdone himself with The Kooks’ latest track, but Pete Denton’s talent on the bass guitar also stands out despite its subtlety. As for Hugh Harris on lead guitar, he remains as faultless as ever. It seems that his solo, embedded in Always Where I Need To Be, was far from a fluke.
Luke Pritchard explains that the “album is about pure expression”. In which case, express away. Set to play Ibiza Rocks and Reading/Leeds Festival in the summer, The Kooks are seemingly making a comeback to the forefront of indie music, another exciting and overdue prospect. With four shows lined up for May also, the Sussex natives are sure to increase anticipation for September 1st.
As for your role in regards to The Kooks and their brand new album, it is all in the name. For now, just wait, for when September arrives, you can be sure to Listen!