Black Keys Get Silly, Go Pranking As Album Release Looms

The Black Keys are awfully giddy these days, riding that mighty wave of unequivocal critical acclaim for their last two albums, Brothers and El Camino.

With their eighth studio album, Turn Blue, due out on May 13, the dynamic new-blues duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney has busted out their silly sides en masse. Take a look at the video below for “Fever,” the Black Keys’ first single off Turn Blue, in which they pose as devout (and money-grubbing) television evangelists.

Directed by Theo Warner, the video is a long crescendo of histrionic sermonizing that pairs perfectly with the song:

But the silly didn’t stop there. On Saturday, the band shared a video of a prank call they made to their own label, Nonesuch. Posing as a fake New-Age Rhode Island act called Quartzazium, Carney tries to sell his freshman album, Terrestrial Feelings, and get a Nonesuch representative to come and see Quartzazium’s show that night, which he says will be the group’s last until the spring solstice comes. A four-album deal is really what the band is looking for, Carney says, while Auerbach’s laughter underscores Carney’s pitch from somewhere off-screen:

There’s much for the band and its fans to be happy about. Turn Blue is the first slate of new songs the Black Keys have released since 2011. As with their last album, El Camino, Turn Blue was co-produced with Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, a collaboration that has given the group a fuller, more involved sound.

In addition to “Fever,” the band just launched another track, “Bullet In The Brain”. Just by listening to these first two singles, you can see why Rolling Stone‘s Jon Blistein thinks the Black Keys have “found a deep new groove” by “delivering their scuzzed-up blues sound with a strong twinge of the psychedelic.”

Said Auerbach: “We were sort of making a headphone record.” Added Carney: “It pays off to listen more than once.”

The whole list of tracks to look forward to in the new LP:

“Weight Of Love”
“In Time”
“Turn Blue”
“Fever”
“Year In Review”
“Bullet In The Brain”
“It’s Up To You Now”
“Waiting On Words”
“10 Lovers”
“In Our Prime”
“Gotta Get Away”

The Black Keys will appear on Saturday Nite Live on May 10, three days before the album release. After that, they plan to start delivering their new songs at some summer festivals (Glastonbury and Latitude) and then just do their thing, place to place, song to song.

[Image courtesy of Nonesuch]