Back in June, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs announced their first album in nearly a decade, Cool It Down (Sept. 30, Secretly Canadian). The announcement was joined by the gorgeous and somber single “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” in collaboration with Perfume Genius. Today (Aug. 10), the band shares their latest single, “Burning.”
“Burning” is a magnetic dance-rock jam. A simple piano loop grows into a disco-inspired explosion with tambourines, thumping bass and the band’s signature distorted guitars. Karen O’s vocals reach into yelps and settle into tantalizing whispers. According to press materials, “Burning” is inspired by The Four Seasons’ “Beggin,” and it shows in the flamboyant layers of the song.
Speaking further on the inspiration for “Burning,” Karen O said:
Back when I was 19 living in the east village, one night a roommate dragged me out of the apartment for an impromptu drink across the street, I left a votive candle burning on a plastic yaffa block which in my absence set flame to my room. Within an hour and a half of having one drink down the block firefighters had come and gone extinguishing the fire, I came home to find that a natural disaster had occurred (to my room) and most of my stuff, lost in the flames. All electronic goods were melted and demolished like my laptop, cameras etc. but oddly enough the items that held the most sentimental value remained intact like sketchbooks, a favorite sweater with hearts across the chest, and photographs. I had photos of my parents in their youth where the fire burnt around the two of them as if there was some intangible force field protecting them, many photos like that, mysteriously leaving the beloved subjects untouched.
If the world is on fire I hope the most beloved stay protected and that we do all we can to protect what we cherish most in this life. ‘Burning’ is a song about that feeling, smoke signals for the soul. Begging to cool it down, just doing it the best we know how. Nick and I nodded to Frankie Valli’s ‘Begging’, with the line ‘oooh lay your red hand on me baby.’ We’ve cut a rug to many a soulful sixties bangers in our day, it was in our DNA by the time we wrote “Burning.”
Below, listen to “Burning” and preorder Cool It Down ahead of its Sept. 30 release here.