Cold War Kids embark on a “hero’s journey” with new mini-album, ‘New Age Norms 2’

Cold War Kids are following in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker, Odysseus and many others with their new mini-album, New Age Norms 2.

Speaking to ABC Audio, frontman Nathan Willett explains that the record — the second installment of a planned New Age Norms trilogy — follows the oft-used “hero’s journey” narrative archetype, popularized by mythologist Joseph Campbell.

“The idea that all of us have this ‘hero’s journey’…a start, middle and ending to our lives, I just loved that,” Willett says. “I loved that every song on this record was kind of a step in that.”

Of course, Willett didn’t set out to write his own Star Wars saga with New Age Norms 2. Instead, themes related to the hero’s journey narrative kept popping up on their own — it wasn’t until after he was deep into the songwriting process that he noticed them.

As for why those themes continued to appear, Willett points to his age — he just hit the big 4-0 this year — and his growing family. He also feels the Cold War Kids’ place as a band nearly 20 years into their career may have something to do with it.

“I think we accomplished so far beyond what we ever set out to do, and at the same time, still are really so excited to grow and to become bigger and better and all those things,” Willett says. “I think it was just a moment to…look at it from a distance.”

“It’s personal to me in that it’s about, I guess, kind of becoming a musician, becoming an artist and all that stuff,” he adds of the album. “But it’s also, I hope, a universal thing that everybody can kinda dig into.”

New Age Norms 2 is out today.

By Josh Johnson
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