"In an era of blatantly computerized pop, ‘Let’s Rock’ flaunts basics from yesteryear: guitars, drums, vocals."
—New York Times
“A fast, fun slice of blues-rock … A return to what The Black Keys do best. These songs are tightly focused, their pleasures immediate … Brilliant.”
Today, The Black Keys release their ninth studio album, “Let’s Rock,” via Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch Records.
The record is a return to the straightforward rock of the singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney’s early days as a band. Auerbach says, “When we’re together we are The Black Keys, that’s where that real magic is, and always has been since we were sixteen.” “Let’s Rock” has already received critical praise, with Paste saying, “If you want something you can crank up at backyard barbecues or in the car with the windows down, well, The Black Keys have two words for you, and they’re in the album title,” and the Wall Street Journal adding, “The Black Keys have mastered the form of guitar-based music, and the craft at work on these dozen songs is something to behold.” The band also is featured in this Sunday’s New York Times Arts & Leisure section and were profiled on CBS This Morning, which can be seen here.
The duo made history in May 2019 with their song “Lo/Hi,” which topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs, Adult Alternative Songs, Rock Airplay, and Alternative Songs charts, making it the first time any song has reached #1 at all four formats simultaneously.
“Let’s Rock” was written, tracked live, and produced by Auerbach and Carney at Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville and features backing vocals from Leisa Hans and Ashley Wilcoxson. “The record is like an homage to electric guitar,” says Carney. “We took a simple approach and trimmed all the fat like we used to.”
Formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001, The Black Keys have released nine studio albums: their debut The Big Come Up (2002), followed by Thickfreakness (2003) and Rubber Factory (2004), along with their releases on Nonesuch Records, Magic Potion (2006), Attack & Release (2008), Brothers (2010), El Camino (2011), Turn Blue (2014) and, most recently, “Let’s Rock” (2019). The band has won six Grammy Awards and headlined festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Governors Ball.
Since their last album together, both Auerbach and Carney have been creative forces behind a number of wide-ranging artists:
Dan Auerbach formed the Easy Eye Sound record label, named after his Nashville studio, in 2017, with the release of his second solo album, Waiting on a Song. Since its launch, Easy Eye Sound has become home to a wide range of artists including Yola, Shannon & The Clams, Dee White, Shannon Shaw, Sonny Smith, Robert Finley, and The Gibson Brothers; it also has released the posthumous album by Leo Bud Welch as well as previously unreleased material by Link Wray.
Patrick Carney has produced and recorded new music with artists such as Calvin Johnson, Michelle Branch, Damns of the West, Tobias Jesso, Jr., Jessy Wilson, Tennis, Repeat Repeat, Wild Belle, Sad Planets, Turbo Fruits, and more. He also created the theme music for the Netflix TV show BoJack Horseman with his late uncle, Ralph Carney.