After 10 albums, the last five of which have gone top 10 or better, six Grammy awards, and sold-out tours around the world, The Black Keys are back: The duo, called “America’s Most Trusted Band” by Stephen Colbert, and “one of the best rock’n’roll bands on the planet” by Uncut, releases its eleventh studio album, Dropout Boogie, on May 13 via Nonesuch Records. The first single, “Wild Child,” is out today along with a video directed by the band’s longtime collaborator Bryan Schlam. Dropout Boogie features collaborations with Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top), Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound), and Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon).
Dropout Boogie will be released one day before the twentieth anniversary of The Black Keys’ first album, The Big Come Up. As they have done their entire career, the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney wrote all of the material in the studio, and the new album captures a number of first takes that hark back to the stripped-down blues rock of their early days making music together in Akron, Ohio basements.
After hashing out initial ideas as a duo at Auerbach’s Nashville-based Easy Eye Sound studio, Auerbach and Carney welcomed new collaborators Billy F. Gibbons, Greg Cartwright, and Angelo Petraglia to the Dropout Boogie sessions. Although The Black Keys previously co-wrote songs with frequent producer/collaborator Danger Mouse, this is the first time they have invited multiple new contributors to work simultaneously on one of their own albums. Both Cartwright and Petraglia can be heard on the new album’s first single, “Wild Child.”
The Black Keys had previously jammed with ZZ Top guitar legend Billy F. Gibbons more than a decade ago in Los Angeles, while ZZ Top was working on an album with producer Rick Rubin. “We never even really wrote one song–we just had some ideas we put down,” Carney said. “We really just wanted to hang out with him. We stayed in touch, and Dan invited him to the studio once we started working on this album."
Between the duo’s albums, Auerbach, through his Easy Eye Sound studio and label, has produced and co-written with artists including Yola, Marcus King, Robert Finley, Ceramic Animal, and the Velveteers.
Track Listing for Dropout Boogie will be confirmed at a later date.