The Kooks are redefined and heading to Beyond The Valley

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The Kooks are redefined and heading to Beyond The Valley

Colour palettes, intricate storylines and subtle emotion are just some of the particularities which make a Wes Anderson film, well, a Wes Anderson film. Known for their distinctive visual and narrative styles, British pop rock band, The Kooks, liken their forthcoming release Let’s Go Sunshine to exactly that.
“Not everything is literal,” says lead-vocalist Luke Pritchard of the album. “There are quite a lot of imaginative lyrics in there, but I think there was just a sense of purpose with my writing, where I wanted to be positive.
“I wanted to bring some positivity into the world,” he says. “I think there’s really nothing better in music than when you can bring some release to people and be uplifting – that was a big thing for me.
“It’s eclectic, in terms of style, but it’s about release, payoff and joy, and I mean, hopefully it’s a bit like a Wes Anderson film; I wanted that Instagram filter on the whole album.”
Kicking their career off in 2006 with now five times platinum release Inside In, Inside Out, the Britpop rockers have gone strength to strength with the likes of Konk, Junk of The Heart, and Listen.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the four-piece. The band’s fifth studio album comes out of fractured beginnings, which saw them in the studio to record during 2015, only to make the decision to scrap the whole project and start again.
“Listen was quite experimental,” explains Pritchard. “I did a lot of Listen on my own with the producer and it was using breaks, beats and loops, and that was fun, but I think we carried on with that in our new album, and halfway through went, ‘You know what? This isn’t The Kooks’.
“We had a lot of chats along the lines of ‘What are we?’, ‘What are we trying to do here?’,” he continues. “And I mean, we’re progressive – we’re not traditionalists because we do sound modern and we’re pushing things, hopefully, into a modern place. But ultimately we are in a long line of British bands – I think that’s where we sit and where we should sit, and I like being a part of that.”
In momentarily stepping away from what the band was known for, Pritchard acknowledges that this time for the band may have translated as what people might perceive as “a dip in popularity”, however, it wasn’t long before a new legion of fans discovered The Kooks in all their glory, through the use of streaming services.
“What we do is very real and we do it ourselves,” expresses Pritchard. “We’re on a creative journey and I think that’s part of music and doing what we do.
“We definitely did get a big boost,” he says. “People hopped on Spotify and all of a sudden we saw our numbers going mental.
“And I think that’s a testament that we just stuck to our guns and kept doing what we do. We’re not celebrities and we’re not on a big market spend; we just do what we do and we hopefully do it well.”
Having racked up over 1 billion streams worldwide, the band maintains a steady ascent to the top as they reach to claim their place within The Great British Songbook with Let’s Go Sunshine.
“It’s funny, I mean, the amount of people and even friends, from as early as Konk, or Junk of The Heart, who were like ‘Man, it’s over’, sort of thing, you have to be like, ‘Well no, I believe in this’, and that’s not an easy thing to do,” tells Pritchard. “But sometimes you’ve got to weather those moments and push on.”
Setting out on a mission to write the best songs he’d ever written, Pritchard has delivered a collection of articles which delve into themes of lost innocence, fading relationships and new-found love, albeit light-heartedly, which lay at the album’s inner-most foundations.
“Many of the lyrics are about letting go and lost love, but they’re still uplifting,” explains Pritchard. “It was heavily inspired by my life, I mean, I was personally in a really good spot, I was falling in love and I was over myself in terms of trying too hard.”
Cementing itself as The Kooks’ most accomplished and varied record, Let’s Go Sunshine will lead listeners on a musically surprising journey that’s unbound by constraints or genre. With tracks such as ‘Fractured and Dazed’, ‘No Pressure’ and ‘All The Time’ each telling a tale of their own, it is perhaps the question as to who is behind the unfamiliar, yet heart-warming vocals which feature on track ‘Honey Bee’ that offers with it the most sentimental story, as Pritchard reveals it is in fact his father’s voice, as well as he who wrote the song.
Passing away when Pritchard was young, he was given his father’s guitar and the song in question from his sister.
“It’s a big moment for me, that,” smiles Pritchard. “I didn’t really decide on it, it was just a matter of everyone loving the song, and that’s the truth.
“I’m always on time and the guys are not,” he laughs, “And anyway, I was in the studio on my own with the engineer and I started playing it and he was like, ‘This is great, let’s record it.’
“I didn’t think we’d be able to put my dad’s vocals into the finished piece, because we didn’t have the multi-track, but the engineers managed to do it… and it became this really special moment.
“Everyone who worked on its production had the realisation of ‘That’s a really important song’, but it’s also really fun and adds to the record as a whole. It’s a real road trip track!”
Release: ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ is out August 31 via Lonely Cat / AWAL Recordings
The Kooks will be heading to this year’s Beyond The Valley taking place from the 28th of December 2018, through to the very early hours of January 1st 2019 at Lardner Park, Lardner – just 90 mins drive outside Melbourne.

Tickets via

Written by Helena Metzke