Cold War Kids started in 2004 in downtown Fullerton in guitarist/vocalist Jonnie Russell's apartment above a restaurant called Mulberry Street, whose name they would eventually use as the title of their first EP. The band relocated to Whittier, California and began recording their first demos, which Monarchy Music released as the Mulberry Street EP in spring 2005. Between tours, the band released two more EPs: With Our Wallets Full and Up in Rags, in 2006. In summer 2006, Cold War Kids signed to Downtown Records and released their debut LP Robbers & Cowards that fall.
After two years of non-stop touring around the world, and relocation to Long Beach, California, Cold War Kids went back into the studio spring 2008 with the producer of their first record, Kevin Augunas. Nathan described the record making process: Throughout the record making process we would write songs in our own little practice studio then wed go into the studio for like two days and record three or four songs, then go back into our own practice studio for like a few weeks. So really it was over the span of four months or something. Actual studio days probably like 15 days. We dont love being in a studio; we focus more on the writing.
The band's second album, Loyalty to Loyalty, represented a departure from their debut in featuring a lot of narrative storytelling, as well as political and philosophical references. In an interview with Blackbox Magazine, Nathan described the record as Being a little darker then the first." "The title, 'Loyalty to Loyalty,' comes from the philosopher Josiah Royce. He said people need to live in community with each other, and he was reacting to Nietzsche who came before him, saying people need to rise aboveyou need to be the strongest individual you can and rise above the masses. But this guy Josiah Royce is saying that you need to not rise above the masses, that you need to embrace your community. His paper was called 'Loyalty to Loyalty.'
The band spent the end of 2008 and most of 2009 on the road touring the record, highlighted by a national tour with Death Cab for Cutie. In between touring, the band returned to the studio to record what would become the Behave Yourself EP. Willett describes the album, These 4 songs were recorded sometime between Loyalty sessions and now. They didnt belong there but they kept hanging around, starting trouble, made friends and insisted their story be heard. Like their most recent releases, Behave Yourself was released on Downtown Records.
The band went back into the studio in February 2010 and released "Mine Is Yours" in 2011, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Alternative charts.
Cold War Kids will release "Dear Miss Lonelyhearts" in 2013.
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