Yeah Yeah Yeahs have shared a new single, Burning, as the latest teaser for their forthcoming fifth album Cool It Down. And vocalist Karen O has revealed that the song is inspired by a true story, specifically a blaze that destroyed her New York apartment when she was a teenager.
Posting on Instagram, the singer wrote: "Back when I was 19 living in the east village one night a roommate dragged me out of the apartment for an impromptu drink across the street, I left a votive candle burning on a plastic yaffa block which in my absence set flame to my room. Within an hour and a half of having one drink down the block firefighters had come and gone extinguishing the fire, I came home to find that a natural disaster had occurred (to my room) and most of my stuff lost in the flames.
She continues: "All electronic goods were melted and demolished like my laptop, cameras etc. but oddly enough the items that held the most sentimental value remained intact like sketchbooks, a favorite sweater with hearts across the chest, and photographs. I had photos of my parents in their youth where the fire burnt around the two of them as if there was some intangible forcefield protecting them, many photos like that, mysteriously leaving the beloved subjects untouched.
"If the world is on fire I hope the most beloved stay protected and that we do all we can to protect what we cherish most in this life."
Giving a shout out to the Four Season's 1967 single Begging for added inspiration, the singer adds, "Burning is a song about that feeling, smoke signals for the soul. Begging to cool it down, just doing it the best we know how."
Listen to Burning below:
Cool It Down will emerge on September 30 on Secretly Canadian.
Of the album, Karen O states, “To all who have waited, our dear fans, thank you, our fever to tell has returned, and writing these songs came with its fair share of chills, tears, and euphoria when the pain lifts and truth is revealed.
"Don’t have to tell you how much we’ve been going through in the last nine years since our last record, because you've been going through it too, and we love you and we see you, and we hope you feel the feels from the music we’ve made. No shying away from the feels, or backing down from what’s been gripping all of us these days. So yes we’ve taken our time, happy to report when it’s ready it really does just flow out.
“The record is called Cool It Down which is snagged from a lesser known Velvet Underground song. I told Alex Prager, whose photo graces our record cover, that her image speaks to sweeping themes in the music and sums up how I, Karen, feel existentially in these times!"