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Kings of Leon: The Return of the Kings

The beer-chugging southern rock Christians return with new music and a new look for 2021. Though, they’re far removed from their party-hard, drug-laced days they remain attune with God and rock ‘n’ roll. They show their peak visual showcase with the release of two singles for their upcoming eighth studio album When You See Yourself. Since the start of the new year the band had teased their latest album with a series of clips via their Instagram page. Each clip contained a snippet from their newest music video with the lyrics being a tagline. In no surprise, each clip has obtained over 100,000 views with fans anticipating for the album to drop on March 5th.

After achieving their first number one record on the Billboard 200 for the album Walls, Kings of Leon had taken a four-year hiatus. A word of new material wouldn’t arise until the group released a music video for the song “Going Nowhere”. The tumultuous early days of last year’s quarantine heavily inspired the song and video’s concept. The black-and-white visual displays the lead singer, Caleb Followill, singing live from an empty room in Nashville, Tennessee. Followill’s haunting vocals and laidback strumming creates a melodic atmosphere that’s both hopeful and chilling. Reminders of a difficult time from lockdown pop up as the band leaves a heartfelt message in the description. As they noted to all viewers, “Stay safe. Stay home. We will see you as soon as we can.”

The New Year ushered in exciting news from the group for the first time in almost nine months. After a stark music video from the group’s frontman, they dropped a new visual spectacle. “The Bandit” lays out another black-and-white approach with hair-raising cinematography. Kings of Leon recollect the wailing sound and howling vocals that critics had acclaimed for years. With slick production and psychedelic visuals that bend the mind, they show off their prominence once more. So far, the video has garnered nearly 2.5 million views since its release over two weeks ago.

With a very little break, the band wastes no time in presenting another track off the awaited album. On his 39th birthday, Caleb Followill gifted everyone with the release of a heartbreaker known as “100,000 People”. The frontman notes the lyrics, much like the rest of the album, are some of the most “personal” that he’s written to date. As he states, “I try to write and convince myself that I’m writing about something else but a vein of my personal life flows through these songs.” The accompanying music video for the track showcases a marvel of visual elegance. The instrumentation and vocal style leave impressions that others could find in a Pink Floyd or Beatles soundtrack. A behind the scenes video of the track’s production can also be viewed on the band’s Instagram page.

While their music videos continue to garner views, expectations are set higher than before as the album approaches its release date. Several tracks have yet to be heard as they wait for the drop of the full album. Fans who anxiously awaited were even treated with a Kings of Leon collectible t shirt displaying the hand screen printed lyrics of “The Bandit”. Knowing how much Covid-19 has affected the industry, the band has donated the proceeds to live music crews who are out of work. As millions become more and more eager for the album, the group just sits back and dream of the day they return to performing in front of thousands once again. A notion they’ve patiently waited to obtain.

Written by Trenton Luber


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