Karen O recently explained why Yeah Yeah Yeahs rarely play live shows, but the New York City-based trio warmed up for an upcoming string of shows by performing “Burning” on Thursday night’s (September 29) Jimmy Kimmel Live. Their appearance coincided with the release of Cool It Down, the first original Yeah Yeah Yeahs album since 2013’s Mosquito.
Karen O, Brian Chase, and Nick Zinner owned the stage at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music, where Kimmel has been set throughout this week. Karen O oozed authenticity from atop an artificial lava rock, pristinely delivering an evocative message: “Took me over like a fever / Caught you hiding in the smoke, smoke, smoke / Like a meteor, I glow, glow, glow.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs announced their comeback in June with the release of Cool It Down lead single “Spitting Off The Edge Of The World” featuring Perfume Genius. “Burning” followed in August, and upon its arrival, Karen O unpacked the meaning of the song in a statement:
“Back when I was 19 living in the East Village, one night a roommate dragged me out of the apartment for an impromptu drink across the street, I left a votive candle burning on a plastic yaffa block which in my absence set flame to my room. Within an hour and a half of having one drink down the block firefighters had come and gone extinguishing the fire, II came home to find that a natural disaster had occurred (to my room) and most of my stuff, lost in the flames. All electronic goods were melted and demolished like my laptop, cameras etc. but oddly enough the items that held the most sentimental value remained intact like sketchbooks, a favorite sweater with hearts across the chest, and photographs. I had photos of my parents in their youth where the fire burnt around the two of them as if there was some intangible force field protecting them, many photos like that, mysteriously leaving the beloved subjects untouched.
If the world is on fire I hope the most beloved stay protected and that we do all we can to protect what we cherish most in this life. ‘Burning’ is a song about that feeling, smoke signals for the soul. Begging to cool it down, just doing it the best we know how. Nick and I nodded to Frankie Valli’s ‘Begging’, with the line ‘oooh lay your red hand on me baby.’ We’ve cut a rug to many a soulful sixties bangers in our day, it was in our DNA by the time we wrote ‘Burning.'”
On Friday morning (September 30), Yeah Yeah Yeahs provided even more context for the inspiration behind Cool It Down on Instagram.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are set to play Forest Hills Stadium in Forest Hills, New York, on Saturday (October 1) before jetting across the country to perform at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on October 6. In June, the band staged their first UK shows in nine years.
Cool It Down is out 9/30 via Secretly Canadian. Get it here.