After almost three long years, The Black Keys have finally released a new single in “Fever”. The first released track off their upcoming album Turn Blue is absolutely entrancing and makes longtime fans crave more. It’s definitely a game changer against the music that is currently out there.
“Fever” is significantly more dancey than past singles but it’s also got an old-school feel to its music. It’s psychedelic and groovy with mesmerizing guitars, retro keyboarding and light percussion from drummer Patrick Carney, and the sultry vocals of frontman Dan Auerbach spin a deep story (or two) through captivating wordplay. It’s almost like a new school Cage the Elephant meets the energy of Fitz and the Tantrums with a splash of Capital Cities‘ quirkiness.
You know you’ve got a great song on your hands when it can be interpreted in more than one way. “Fever” successfully makes the listener picture two different scenarios depending on how much you focus on the lyrics.
You can go with the easy route of seeing it as a track that chronicles one’s love life from feeling hot and bothered to running cold. Specific lines like “fever, let me live a dream,” “fever, I’m a slave to,” and”you shook me like I’ve never been/now show me how to live again” can totally be viewed as part of the beginning stages while the chorus as well as “ya used to be a blessing/but fever’s got me stressing” show the unraveling of the fairytale.
On the other hand, “Fever” can be about struggling through a hard time (maybe even some form of addiction). The sheer honesty of its lyrics leads you to an alternate storyline that’s deeper than its music makes it seem (almost like 3OH!3‘s “I’m Not the One” but with Foster the People‘s energy). Again, its chorus (particularly “fever cuz I’m breaking/fever got me aching…fever got me guilty/just go ahead and kill me”) plays a large role in how the tone of the song goes. Its final verses “now if the cold pale light in your eyes/reaches those horizon lines/you know not to leave her/fever” really bring that final sucker punch of seriousness and it makes you realize the song’s versatility.
The Black Keys’ long-awaited single is a tornado of conflicting emotions that make you want to listen to it over and over again to see if there was anything you missed. It’s a perfect modern indie rock track but thank goodness they didn’t abandon their original style. May definitely can’t come soon enough for Turn Blue to be released. Looks like “Fever” is just going to have to hold us over.