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Hot Hot Heat Return with New Single "Kid Who Stays in the Picture"

Plus the Canadian crew will release their fifth and final LP—a return to the indie dance angles of their early records.


Hot Hot Heat by Just Jash

I don't know about you, but I listened to the first two Hot Hot Heat records relentlessly in the mid-to-early 2000s. It wasn't just about "Bandages" for me—which of course was a huge smash, the kind of tune that set indie dance floors to sweat—but it was also the straight ahead pop of "Middle of Nowhere," the jittery flex of "Talk to Me, Dance with Me" and the descending ripple of their debut LP opener "Naked in the City Again." Oooh that bass. So I got rather excited to hear that the Canadian crew are returning with their first single (and album) in six years, and that, according to the band, it's a return to the angles and songwriting of their first two records. It'll be their fifth album, and also their last.

Below is the premiere of the first song, "Kid Who Stays in the Picture" from their forthcoming eponymous record. As promised, it is classic HHH. Pop with some off kilter synth-oddness and bass that bounds. It's sprightly, but sad too.

"'Kid Who Stays in the Picture'" is about my best friend from childhood, who seemed clearly destined for fame," explains singer Steve Bays. "He was the best singer, actor, comedian, athlete... you name it. But as we grew up, I watched his laughter fade to seriousness as 'real life' eroded his sense of humour and wonder. He inadvertently taught me the importance of fighting to stay young at heart and holding onto your innocence for as long as you can, because once it's gone, it's gone. The lyrics are a bit of a mantra to stay hungry and passionate about selfish interests, so your conscious mind stays self aware and doesn't get eaten up by the subconscious mind's potentially lazy sense of doom.

"Sonically It's fitting that the song would be the first song on the album because it was recorded at the peak of my addiction to analog keyboards from the 70s and 80s and the lush soundscapes they can add to a song's sense of wonder and escapism. In fact, we ended up recording the album twice. Once with software synths, which were great for writing on and editing quick timing and key changes; but then again as a live band with a bunch of old analog keyboards that can't help but add mystery and adventure, because they are so confusing and bizarre, in a beautiful way."

Listen to it below.


Album tracklisting:

01. Kid Who Stays In The Picture

02. Modern Mind

03. Pulling Levers

04. Bobby Joan Sex Tape

05. Magnitude

06. Mayor Of The City

07. Alaskan Midnight Sun

08. Comeback Of The Century

09. Sad Sad Situation

10. The Memory's Here

Hot Hot Heat is out on 6.24 on Kaw-Liga Records in the US and Culvert Music in Canada.