“…they just keep getting better and better.”—Rolling Stone
The Black Keys release their sixth full-length album, Brothers, May 18 on Nonesuch Records. The album arrives on the heels of three other acclaimed projects the band released in the past year: Dan Auerbach’s solo effort, Keep It Hid, the debut LP from Patrick Carney’s band Drummer, and Blakroc, a collaboration between The Black Keys and renowned MCs including RZA, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Raekwon. The Black Keys’ 2008 album, Attack & Release, received praise from The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the Los Angeles Times, and MOJO, which called the album, “…rich with melody and driving power.” The band will support Brothers with a tour that includes a sold out performance at Central Park’s SummerStage in New York City on July 27 (additional dates will be announced soon).
Carney admits Brothers is the album they’ve always wanted to make and taps into their creative force as a duo. “Dan and I grew up a lot as individuals and musicians prior to making this album. Our relationship was tested in many ways but at the end of the day, we’re brothers, and I think these songs reflect that.” Carney and Auerbach recorded the bulk of the album at the legendary Alabama studio Muscle Shoals with additional sessions at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound System in Akron, OH and The Bunker in Brooklyn, NY. Muscle Shoals, an old building located in the sparse Alabama town that lends the studio its name, has produced iconic recordings from The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, and Wilson Pickett, among many others.
The New York Times has called The Black Keys’ music “tough-minded, blues haunted songs,” and the ghosts of Muscle Shoals inhabit Brothers’ 15 tracks. Of the album, Auerbach says, “We like spooky sounds…like Alice Coltrane, where a dark groove is laid down. That’s the headspace we tried to get into for this record.”
The album includes the Danger Mouse-produced song “Tighten Up” and a cover of the Jerry Butler classic “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The remaining songs on Brothers are written, performed and produced by The Black Keys. With the exception of a handful of tracks, co- production duties were handled by Mark Neill. The record was mixed by Tchad Blake.Carney explains the sound the band wanted for this record: “We are big fans of Tchad Blake. The way he approaches mixing is the same way we approach making music. Respecting the past while being in the present. The mixes he did for us on Blakroc impressed us so much we knew he had to mix Brothers.”
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