The Killers’ new album, Pressure Machine, is out today and includes a collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers, “Runaway Horses.” The intimate, acoustic number sees Bridgers joining frontman Brandon Flowers on vocals.
The album, produced by the band with Shawn Everett and Jonathan Rado, is the band’s seventh full-length. Along with the release of the album, The Killers shared a new animated music video for album cut “Quiet Town.”
On Pressure Machine, Flowers was inspired by his formative years in the tiny, remote Utah town of Nephi. The album is a concept record about life in Nephi told from the perspective of various townspeople that touches on everything from prescription drug abuse and poverty to crime, homophobia, and depression.
“When I was writing these songs, I was thinking of things like Sherwood Anderson’s book Winesburg, Ohio or that book Pastures of Heaven [by John Steinbeck],” Flowers told Rolling Stone, “where’s it’s all these short stories that take place in this one setting. For some reason, I had the audacity to try it myself. Once I realized they were going to take place here and they were going to be true stories, everything just really fell in our laps.”
The album includes snippets of recordings with actual townspeople from Nephi, which can be heard at the beginning of “Runaway Horses.”
“We were in mastering mode, but it was the last ingredient needed to complete this project for us,” drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr explained to Rolling Stone. “It gave us more of a real-life accounting, more so than our interpretations through songs and music. … It was people with their accents and their stories. It stitched it all together for us.”
Bridgers, meanwhile, recently released a cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” The rendition is off The Metallica Blacklist, an upcoming tribute album to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s 1991 self-titled LP (known as The Black Album).