Kings of Leon showcased a lighter, pop-rock sound on Later … with Jools Holland, debuting the new song “Around the World.” The Nashville rockers pare down their signature wall-of-guitars sound on the track in favor of more intricate and melodic guitar work, upbeat percussion and call-and-response refrains.
After a milquetoast reception to the band’s 2013 record Mechanical Bull, the band is embracing the pop-driven sound of contemporary rock bands like fun. and Vampire Weekend. To finesse the softer direction, the band enlisted producer Markus Dravs, who has worked with Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay.
“We’re trying to change people’s perception of [us],” singer/guitarist Caleb Followill told Entertainment Weekly of the band’s new pop orientation. “We have more depth on this album and more situations where we dipped our toe in before but never committed. Now we’re wanting to dive in. I know this is a pop-driven world and what we do isn’t necessarily at the top of the heap of music that people are listening to, but I feel like once people discover this album, it’s going to change them.”
Walls, the band’s seventh studio album, is slated to drop October 14th.