Happy Tuesday, internet. Today, we’ll be continuing with our running theme of summer jams for the week. Because when the weather’s hot, you can always crank your speakers up to eleven and let the sound waves cool you off. Don’t question that logic.
Yesterday, we looked at Beck’s “Up All Night” as a breezy, upbeat song perfect for bringing in the good vibes. Today, we’re switching gears a bit to talk about a recent release from The Black Keys.
“Lo/Hi” is the first song released by The Black Keys in five years. Their resurgence with this new single, while not very surprising, hits you with a blast of retro energy that’s sure to kick any summer off right.
The Black Keys
After a five year hiatus, The Black Keys have returned with an upcoming album with a title, (“Let’s Rock”) that clarifies their intentions. Their last album, the 2014 collaboration with Danger Mouse, “Turn Blue” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.
It seemed strange that the highly successful duo would choose to take a hiatus after such a success. Considering both Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s involvement in their own side projects, perhaps they just needed a break to switch things up before bringing to life yet another blues-heavy rock album.
Even though they’ve been gone for awhile, The Black Keys prove with “Lo/Hi” that they’re capable of picking up right where they left things. Their new single has all of the familiar elements that fans have come to expect from the duo. There’s Auerbach’s signature fuzzy guitar, along with Carney’s consistent, garage rock drumming, and a group of female background singers to boost their sound.
So what makes “Lo/Hi” such a solid song for the summer? The feel of it, mostly. There’s something in the driving guitar line and bluesy tone that evokes memories of long road trips in the summer. “Lo/Hi” also has a bit of a psychedelic ’60s feel to it, making it an electrifying and trippy song to set the tone for the summer.
As the title suggests, the lyrics to “Lo/Hi” aren’t necessarily as uplifting as the beat. It’s a song about extremes, and really not much else. The verses are pretty bare bones, and the chorus repetitive.
“Out on a limb in the wind of a hurricane
Down at the bar like a star in the howlin’ rain”
“Nobody to love you
Nobody to care
If you die, nobody will hug you
No one to answer your prayer”
The first verse and chorus are pretty dreary, considering the high-energy guitar and drums that accompany them. In this sense, “Lo/Hi” can be considered a proper blues song, as it deals more with expressing troubles than celebrating good times. The chorus is the only part in the song where we hear anything about the high times. And even then, it’s pretty lackluster.
“You get low (Low) like a valley
Then high (High) like a bird in the sky
You get low (Low) ’cause you’re angry
Low, high, high, low”
Even here, the lows outnumber the highs two to one. Despite the title and upbeat music, don’t be fooled into thinking that “Lo/Hi” is a happy song.
After giving it a closer look, The Black Keys’ “Lo/Hi” isn’t so much of a summer song in the sense that it’s all about sunshine and good times. But the overall feel of the song for some reason seems to evoke feelings of summer. But maybe that’s just me. I will admit that I’ve spent quite a few summers listening to older Black Keys albums on repeat, so that very well could have something to do with it.
That about wraps up our discussion for today. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with another song to add to your summer playlist.