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Brandon Flowers summons desert spirits on "Flamingo" PDF Print E-mail

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NEW YORK (Billboard) - While embarking on a solo career, Brandon Flowers has made it clear that his band, the Killers, isn't breaking up.

In fact, the singer says that the point of "Flamingo," due September 14 on Island Records, was to deliver these songs to the public so that his group could eventually return to creating as a cohesive unit.

"Of course, some of ("Flamingo") could have made for great Killers songs," Flowers says, "but I wanted the next Killers record to be a very strong collaboration. That's when we're at our best."

Instead of a vanity project or a means of separating Flowers from his platinum alt-rock act, "Flamingo" is the sound of the frontman's creative juices flowing while the rest of the Killers -- guitarist Dave Keuning, bassist Mark Stoermer and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. -- took a break from the studio.

From the haunted stomp of "Only the Young" to the lonely falsetto of "Playing With Fire," "Flamingo" (named after Vegas' Flamingo Road) sounds like a more personal riff on the Killers' sound. Flowers, however, sees the album as an homage to his hometown and its barren surroundings: He says he wanted to "summon the spirits of the desert" on the album. "That's where I'm from and that's what I want to represent," Flowers says, "so I feel like it's my duty to conjure the spirits up with the music, and I do the best that I can."

He might downplay the solo effort as an intimate experiment between Killers discs, but fans of the band are certainly taking notice of the stopgap. The singer sold out his first solo show at the Hilton's Shimmer Room in his hometown of Las Vegas on August 15, and first single "Crossfire" is No. 16 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart.

After the Killers finished their third album, 2008's "Day & Age," Flowers started writing new songs intended for the group. Throughout the next 18 months of touring, including headlining slots at Coachella and Lollapalooza in 2009, Flowers says he would "duck into the studio every now and then and record ideas" during brief breaks on the road.

As the Day & Age tour continued, however, seven years of nonstop work had left Flowers' bandmates craving some downtime. The decision that the singer use the songs for himself after the tour seemed to work for everyone, and Flowers approached Island about a solo album during the summer of 2009.

"The songs were just there, and I decided that I'd be the delivery man," Flowers says, adding that the band was very supportive of the idea.

Flowers brought the new songs to his Battle Born studios in Las Vegas early this year, with "Day & Age" collaborator Stuart Price signing on to produce along with Daniel Lanois and Brendan O'Brien. All three producers helped make up Flowers' backing band, and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis stopped by for the midtempo pop duet "Hard Enough."

After a European run, Flowers will return stateside in November for a national tour. And when the buzz around "Flamingo" dies down, Flowers will return to his refreshed bandmates and work on album No. 4.

"It's inevitable," he says. "2011 is going to be the time that I'm sure it will happen."

Last Updated on Monday, 13 September 2010 08:09
 
(UK)

Newsflash Archive

The Ting Tings have revealed why they decided to escape to Berlin to record their sophomore album, leaving the celebrity culture of Manchester behind.

In a video interview with NME, Katie White and Jules De Martino said that the decision was not a difficult one to make.

Referring to their debut album, Jules said, "We didn't want to go back to Salford and do the same thing again".

Katie added, "One of the reasons why we didn't go back to Manchester (was) because I think you can go back to Manchester, be a minor celebrity, get a few free drinks if you go to the Night & Day and pat yourself on the back. I'd rather just make music."

The band's new single, "Hands", which is an "anthem for the overworked," includes the lyrics, "Clap your hands if you're working too hard" and is scheduled for release on October 11. The single can be listened to on their official website and viewed on YouTube. A remix called "Hands (Low Sunday Indie Fix)" can be listened to here.

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