KALEO release their second album Surface Sounds on June 5 following the recent release of single Alter Ego.
The band have had several global hits, received a Grammy nomination, watched their 2016 debut album A/B go gold, and toured incessantly.
Every bit of that lived experience has been packed into the new album.
Frontman and songwriter JJ Julius Son has been in the studio off-and-on for two years, allowing for a combination of globe-trotting and meticulous tinkering, resulting in a spectrum of sounds recorded around the world – in North America, South America and across Europe.
He said the final product was refreshingly free of calculation, because he allowed each tune to dictate its path while simultaneously leaning-in to his blues, folk and rock inclinations.
Iceland musician Julius said: ““First off, I wanted to acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety that everyone is facing today. We considered postponing this announcement, but that also didn’t seem right as we all strive for any shred of normalcy.
“Times like this remind us of what matters most. Instinctively as human beings we shift our focus from the superficial to collectively supporting our neighbours. That sentiment is actually echoed in Surface Sounds.
“My hope now is that the album can serve as a reminder that what is on the surface is not nearly as important as what is inside, and it’s our duty to lift one another up in times of need.
“In many ways, Surface Sounds has always been such a puzzle for me. I’ve literally jumped into studios in Greece, South America, and all over Europe, creating what is now Surface Sounds.
“Any time I went home to Iceland, every time I was in LA, I enjoy seeing what we can create in the moment and in each environment.”
In addition to the release of Alter Ego, which Julius Son calls “probably the most classic rock and roll song” on the album, the Icelandic rock band released two new tracks earlier this year showcasing the contrast in sounds and imagery expected on Surface Sounds.
Praised by Texas Monthly as a “tender-yet-tough anthem”, I Want More is contrasted with Break My Baby, which allows a look into the darker side of KALEO and is described by Loudwire as “hooky and groovy, showcasing the range of [Julius Son’s] vocal and a gritty, bluesy approach”.
KALEO’s first album A/B spawned hit singles No Good, All The Pretty Girls and Way Down We Go.