The Black Keys' "Turn Blue" Makes Them Sound Like a Trippy Psych Rock Jam Band — LISTEN
The Black Keys just released the "official audio" for "Turn Blue" the title track to their upcoming album. It is the second song released from the new album; the toe-tapping "Fever" has been floating around Spotify since last month. The album, which will be their eighth studio effort, drops May 13, and has been heavily anticipated since the back-to-back hits El Camino and Brothers. But after listening to "Turn Blue," we've learned a little something about how The Black Keys are changing for Turn Blue.
Much of the commercial success of Brothers and El Camino relied on the hooks of singles like "Tighten Up" and "Lonely Boy," but it seems like Dan and Patrick want to veer away from the thumping chart-toppers for this album. When Rolling Stone asked the Keys how they settled on the psychedelic sounds of Turn Blue, Dan simply quipped, "At this point, there are absolutely no rules." And so far, the disco-ball vibes of "Fever," when combined with the chillwave loops of "Turn Blue" promise to make this record something entirely different from their two previous hits.
Turn Blue also features a "seven-minute, organ-steeped breakup song," which might be seen as the band's breakup letter to the idea of a radio-friendly single. It's also possible that the duo's reunion with producer Danger Mouse contributed to the subdued sound: they worked with Danger on 2008's Attack & Release, which featured more toned-down jams like "Lies," which replaces their usual driving ballads with a slow, meandering elegy to love lost.
While it does seem that the Keys are returning to the jamming they did on Attack & Release, the decidedly psychedelic elements of "Turn Blue" seem entirely new. So it's possible that, instead of another three-cord vamp over a driving bass drum, we're going to see these rockers experiment with something a little more ethereal.
Take a listen for yourself: