Following their sold out tour across the UK for their 15th-anniversary tour celebrating ‘Inside In/Inside Out’, today, British indie trailblazers The Kooks release their new EP 'Beautiful World - Echo In The Dark, Pt II'. The video for the track ‘Beautiful World’ with German duo Milky Chance, will be live at 18:00u this evening.
The EP includes three tracks; ‘Closer’, ‘Beautiful World’ featuring Milky Chance and ‘25’. The EP is the second release from the band’s upcoming album and there’s a fresh approach to releasing the record; the album will be released in three parts, the first two parts consisting of 3-track EP releases and the final part adding a further four tracks to the full album release. ‘10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark' will be released on July 22nd via Lonely Cat/AWAL Recordings.
Luke comments on the EP “Really happy to announce the release of the second instalment ofour album. I wrote ‘Beautiful World’ the day I found out El was pregnant. It's a crazy world butit’s also beautiful and it’s amazing to bring a new life into it. Was so thrilled that the Milky Chance guys related to the tune and got involved, they brought a new sound and feel for us too.Veryexcited for everyone to hear it!”
Milky Chance comment on ‘Beautiful World’ “We grew up with The Kooks so you probably canimagine how stoked we were to work with them. It’s a great song and we think it really speaksto a lot of people from our generation. Right now we’re on a turning point in history when itcomes to taking care of this beautiful planet earth. And unfortunately there’s that strong feelingthat we really fucked it up and just hoping that it’s not too late.”.
After a worldwide arena tour, the release of their 2018 UK Top Ten album ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ saw the band topping the bill at festivals across Europe and at home. The streaming boom had opened up The Kooks to a new audience of young fans who loved their distinctive brand of indie pop and were itching to see them play live.
Coming off the back of a punishing tour schedule, Luke vowed to take a bit of a breather. But instead, found himself right back in the studio. “I started going to Berlin for three or four days at a time. I was really affected by Brexit and I wanted to make a bit of a statement by creating a European record,” he explains. “We’re a European band, we practically lived out there and have so much love for Europe, so we wanted to keep that connection.”
Berlin has long been something of a creative Mecca for artists from all over the world andPritchard found himself moving in those circles, meeting the collaborators he would work withon their behemothof a sixth album, ‘10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark'. The period was one of work, inspiration and creativity as opposed to partying. “I wasn’t doing any drugs”, Pritchard attests. “It was more dive bars and a bottle of whiskey than Berghain.”
The environment quickly started to work its magic. “A lot of songwriters have found refuge in Berlin”, he says. "It’s a free place, it’s not so consumed by commerciality. I was looking forsomething a bit rawer, a little bit more minimal. Sometimes you just pick up these nuancessomewhere. It’s not necessarily the people, it’s the place.”
Armed with a new mantra – to not overthink things and just make a record that he’d want to listen to at home, the ideas came freely and easily. Pairing up with Tobias Kuhn to co-write and produce the bulk of the record, their first writing session saw them pen intention-setting lead single, ‘Connection’, in just a few hours. Things were moving well with the pair laying down five tracks, but in March 2020, COVID put a stop to Pritchard’s European dream, forcing him to return home to the UK to finish the writing sessions over Zoom until Tobias was able to fly out to London and record with him and the rest of the band, Hugh Harris (leadguitar/synthesiser/bass) and Alexis Nunez (drums).
Getting married and becoming a father for the first time, we’re hearing from a new Pritchard – one whose demons are behind him and is optimistic about the future. “I really hope that sense of inner peace comes across,” says Pritchard of the album’s resoundingly optimistic outlook. “I really want to have fun with my life at this point. But also–it’s kinda a reflection of what I was feeling in real-time in a pre-and-post COVID world. I wasreading a lot of sci-fi–like Philip K. Dick, Azimov and surreal stuff like Boris Vian–which isobviously really distracting from what’s going on in the world, but helped me be imaginativewith the songs.” Luke concludes, “In the pandemic I had a good amount of time to look over our albums and feelproper proud and lucky. This album is a real thank you to our fans for sticking by us for so long,we hope you love it”.
Listen to 'Beautiful World - Echo in the Dark, Pt II' here.
Pre-save ‘10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark' here.