While they tour the U.S. this summer on a final victory lap for their breakthrough fourth album, Only By the Night (with its 6 million-plus worldwide sales total), Nashville rockers Kings of Leon will continue to play songs from their currently unscheduled fifth album -- despite the fact that some execs in their camp would prefer they keep them under wraps for now, according to Billboard.
"We didn't want to go back out there and give 'em the Only By the Night tour, part two," Caleb Followill said in a press conference, addressing the issue. "Not only are you testing the songs out on the crowd, but we have that, 'Oh, s***!' moment when we're looking at each other -- 'Are they gonna like this? Are they gonna sit down because it's not 'Use Somebody?'"
The response has been positive, both from the crowd and critics. SPIN music editor Charles Aaron called the new songs -- with working titles "Mary," "Immortals," "Radioactive," and "Southbound" -- "the real highlight" of the band's triumphant headline set at Bonnaroo in June, saying they boasted "a rootsier, possibly even more ambitious aesthetic. One tune had a vaguely doo-wop vocal and a stomping Chuck Berry-ish guitar solo; another recalled a '70s country-rock road song that sounded like it could've been written for Trace Adkins or Dierks Bentley."
The band recorded their new album with producer Jacquire King (Norah Jones, Be Your Own Pet) and longtime mentor-collaborator Angelo Petraglia in New York City, and Caleb says the band reached outside their traditional guitar-bass-drums arrangements in the studio, adding fiddle, trumpet, and lap steel to select tracks.
"I think every one of them really complements the songs, and I think having done that, it's really gotten us excited for the future and where we can go with the band and what we can do," the frontman said.
For now, the next Kings of Leon album has no title and no release date. Their tour hits Salt Lake City, Utah, tonight, and wraps Sept. 23 in Dallas. Click here for full dates.