Get those headphones in or blast the nearest speakers – The Killers have released their seventh (!!!) studio album, Pressure Machine today!
When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the promotional run and worldwide tour for The Killers’ majestic, critically-acclaimed 2020 album Imploding the Mirage, “everything came to this grinding halt,” says frontman Brandon Flowers. “And it was the first time in a long time for me that I was faced with silence. And out of that silence this record began to bloom, full of songs that would have otherwise been too quiet and drowned out by the noise of typical Killers records.”
Indeed, for the first time since 2004, the relentless momentum and pressures of being in a globally-renowned, stadium-shaking band stopped. Enter Pressure Machine: a view into the everyday realities of a small American town with a stark, tough beauty, and The Killers’ most restrained and resonant album yet.
A quieter, character-study-driven album, Pressure Machine lives squarely in Flowers’ hometown of Nephi, Utah, a close-knit community of 5300 people with no traffic lights, a rubber plant, wheat fields, and the West Hills. Nephi is the place Flowers spent his formative years (10-16), saying “had it not been for advancements in the automotive industry, Nephi in the 90s could have been the 1950s.”
The album’s songs are based on the memories and stories of people that impacted him growing up, interspersed with commentary from current Nephi locals about their town. “We were discussing [Brandon] moving to Nephi as a kid and being stuck in the middle of nowhere,” says the band’s drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. “And during Covid-19, it started to feel like we were all in the middle of nowhere.” Concurs Flowers, “I discovered this grief that I hadn’t dealt with,” he says, “many memories of my time in Nephi are tender. But the ones tied to fear or great sadness were emotionally charged. I’ve got more understanding now than when we started the band, and hopefully I was able to do justice to these stories and these lives in this little town that I grew up in.”
The resulting record is an aural document of growing up – and living – in the American Southwest, told from a myriad of perspectives. For the first time in his life, Flowers had complete lyrics before a note of music was put to tape. No stranger to inhabiting different characters in songs, on Pressure Machine he steps into the shoes of some of the people whose lives he watched unfold as a teen. The album weaves the threads of Flowers’ signature lyricism throughout his career into a perfect whole culminating in the most elegant album The Killers have ever made.
The Killers will be heading back to the road to celebrate both today’s release, Pressure Machine and Imploding The Mirage, along with their much-loved catalogue of global hits, in 2022. UK dates, originally planned for summer 2020, now take place in May/June 2022.