The Empty Hearts — Elliot Easton (the Cars), Clem Burke (Blondie), Wally Palmar (the Romantics) and Andy Babiuk (the Chesterfield Kings) — have announced the release of their new album, appropriately titled The Second Album, which arrives on August 28th via Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records. It’s the follow-up to their 2014 eponymous debut.
They previewed the album with a video for LP track, “The World Has Gone Insane.” Like its namesake, the visual depicts a chaotic montage of video footage, including various presidents, war scenes, talking heads, pop culture images, news and film clips. The display plays out like a dizzying newsfeed scroll through the past few decades.
“‘The World’s Gone Insane’ is one of those songs that takes on a much greater meaning than was necessarily intended originally,” Easton tells Rolling Stone. “Recorded well before the pandemic, it began with a riff and a song idea that I presented to the band. They ate it for lunch.”
The lyrics roil against the onslaught of conflicting information presented in the clip: “You see it everywhere you go/It’s on the street and on your radio/Is it real or is it fake/All that news is just too much to take.”
They also dropped a new song, “The Best That I Can.” For another LP track, the band enlisted Ringo Starr, who plays drums on “Remember Days Like These.”
“We wanted to make an album like the ones that really captured our imaginations when we were coming up,” Easton adds. “The sort of record that, when it came out, you’d get together with a few friends, maybe get a buzz on, turn the lights down and listen from beginning to end — like those classic late Sixties records that took you on a little trip.”