Going Inside In/Inside Out of The Kooks Debut Album and Latest Album

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Going Inside In/Inside Out of The Kooks Debut Album and Latest Album

Credit: Paul Johnson
Words By Tammy Walters

The Kooks have been a household name in the indie landscape since 2006, with their game-changing debut album Inside In/Inside Out with single ‘Naive’ catapulting them into the indie music arena.

It’s an album that is looked upon fondly by the youth of the early 00s but even more so by frontman Luke Pritchard.

“The thing with that album that’s so good is that it’s a time capsule for certain people, especially for me, but it reminds them of a time. I’m obviously really proud of the record. It’s a very coming of age album, we were very young and now young people are picking it up so we’re having a second, third wave of people listening to it, a generational wave with the album,” he explains. 

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Celebrating the album’s 15-year milestone with a re-release of the original 14-track LP as remastered takes, Tony Hoffer alternative mixes, studio demos and unreleased material this time last year, as well as partnering it with a global anniversary tour was a way for the band to pay homage to the record that started it all.

“It’s hard when you have such a big album on your first one, then everything else feels like a failure but it’s not a failure. It’s been really cool having these anniversary shows to cement the record for us as happiness, really, that we got an album like that, that kind of resonates more than most albums at the time, to have an album that sounds like the time, and be in with a handful of those records is pretty fucking cool,” he laughs.

A big follow up with 2008’s Konk and the massive ‘Always Where I Need To Be’, and extending to their 2018 Let’s Go Sunshine, failure has no business with The Kooks, and it continues into their sixth album 10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark.

Perhaps their most sentimental to date, 10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark derives from the most precious imagery.

“My wife Ellie (Rose) was pregnant. You go to the hospital and they put the thing on the thing – the ultrasound – and you see the bounce of the heart. So the echoes in the dark were like watching life coming out of the dark,” Pritchard explains. 

“It’s the wildness of something out of nothing. It’s always bewildered and inspired me. It’s the amazing tenacity of life and music as well, it’s primordial. When you have these moments in life – it was a very powerful moment for me so I felt like I had to document it in one of my songs and then used that as the album title as well.”

From life comes life in this album scenario, with Pritchard’s steady personal life informing his songwriting across the entire body of work.

“I just found myself in quite a good spot. When I went in and met Toby, [Tobias Kuhn] who produced the album, you go in and sometimes try to be really clever or something but I wanted to talk about where I’m at and that I’ve finally found some stability and I’ve turned a corner,” he says.

“All of a sudden I’m married and have a kid – it’s very deep stuff – but you know that was the driving force behind that side of it. You can try to force a happy song but the hopefulness that came from my own life, just feeling hopeful and stable with bringing new life into the world and all of these things. It’s just a vibe thing on how I feel. 

“We are still very inspired. We changed it up a bit but we’re always going to be an indie band with guitars but we found some new ideas and ways of working so that keeps it fresh and just the reflection; when I listened back to it myself, it really reflected how we were feeling and are feeling. It’s got a real hopeful vibe which is surprising considering what was happening in the world at the time.”

The hope continues for fans as their rescheduled Anniversary Tour dates come rolling closer. 

You can see the Kooks at Festival Hall on 6 October and as they headline Grapevine Gathering on 8 October. Stream their new album here