Royal Blood’s Typhoons: What You Need to Know
After two albums and a recent collaboration with hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, rock duo Royal Blood make a triumphant return this week with their third full-length offering, which sees the band evolving their sound and creating something a little more focussed on the dancefloor than you might have expected.
Typhoons makes its arrival in stores on Friday (April 30), here’s everything else you need to know….
A little background…
Recording sessions for the band’s third album began in 2019 and. in statements made by bassist & vocalist Mike Kerr in the run-up to the album’s release, there were hints towards a more electronic, dancefloor-orientated sound: “Although on the surface we were stepping outside what we’d done before, it didn’t feel at all unnatural; it felt like we were returning to music we’d loved from the very beginning: Daft Punk, Justice, things that were really groove-orientated. It was all about the beat. It felt like familiar territory, but something we’d censored in ourselves.”
The album’s lead single ‘Trouble’s Coming' arrived in September and seemed to confirm we might be in for something a bit different this time around…
Who’s producing it?
Royal Blood themselves are listed as the producers on most of the album’s 11 tracks, although there also credits for Adele hitmaker Paul Epworth on ‘Who Needs Friends’ and Queens of the Stone Age mainman Josh Homme on ‘Boilermaker’.
Any special guests?
Aside from additional backing vocals here and there from Bobbie Gordon and Jodie Scantlebury, it’s pretty much just the two lads going it alone.
What does it sound like?
There’s definitely more of an ‘electronic’ feel to Typhoons and much more in the way of synth textures dotted around, but in practice, the shift in sound isn’t as big as it sounds on paper. The drums and fizzing riffs feel drier, closer and a little more machinelike, but as powerful as ever, and while Royal Blood have always been extremely tight as a live unit, here they sound absolutely glued together.
On songs such as ‘Limbo’ some of the influences Kerr has cited are more visible, with the atmospheric synths closer to the fore. Right across the album though everything is still propelled by the same kind of driving riffs and catchy hooks that Royal Blood specialise in, it’s just that this time the production feels a little slicker, while still having that raw edge, and the grooves are much more danceable than before.
Does it deliver?
Royal Blood have managed to create a space for themselves during an era in which rock bands haven’t exactly been in vogue, wringing an awful lot of power and poise out of their two-piece setup, but they’ve succeeded by being able to channel their classic rock influences into something that still feels fresh and exciting. Typhoons takes that a stage further and shows a more innovative side to the band than we’ve seen thus far, while refining and honing all the things they were already great at. It might well be the best album yet from a band that just keeps getting better.