25-06-2018 @ 21:31
Yellow Claw have been around the world and wherever they go, Jim Taihuttu and Nils Rondhuis like to pick up on the vibes, draw inspiration and try to find like-minded souls. It’s how their record label Barong Family got its global roster, and it’s how the Dutch duo’s third album came together. New Blood finds the duo collaborating with singers and rappers from Denmark, Brazil, Singapore, Mexico, China, England, the United States and the Netherlands.
New Blood is the follow-up to Blood For Mercy (2015) and Los Amsterdam (2017), which together have generated over 250 million streams on Spotify alone. Rather than trying to make some grand statement with the new album, Yellow Claw prefer to view New Blood as a kind of musical travelogue, reflecting their international touring schedule. Jim: “Our mindset was not: let’s work with this person or that person. They’re all people we ran into one way or another.” Tabitha Neuser, for example, was first spotted by Jim on an Indonesian TV show before linking up two months later in her native Singapore to record "Crash This Party". The Danish group Phlake happened to be in L.A. when a mutual friend recommended their music and before long they had created “Lost on You” together, New Blood’s chilled opening track.
Jim: "We had rented a cool house in the Hollywood Hills right before the release Los Amsterdam. Partly just to chill out, partly to slowly start working on new things again. We had just come out of producing a number of hard tracks, which were the last ones that were done for that album. Because we didn’t feel like doing that again, we started working on series of really soft tracks."
It takes six tracks before you hear the signature "Yellow motherfucking Claw" drop on New Blood. It’s not a collection of "bangers"—you can check the Amsterdam Trap Music EP series or individual singles like "Do You Like Bass?" for that type of energy. Or go to a Yellow Claw show, preferably. "Maybe Yellow Claw in the studio and Yellow Claw in the club are becoming separate entities," Jim observes. "I feel like the way music is being released has changed so much. You can put out an album, but people will take whatever tracks and do with them what they want. So we’re saying: here are 14 new Yellow Claw tracks that we like and if there’s something for you there, great, take whatever you need."
Over the past year Yellow Claw broke into many fresh music landscapes. They co-produced "Hail To The Victor" with Thirty Seconds To Mars for the band's new album (America), and Yellow Claw also worked with Japan's biggest J-pop group, J Soul Brothers, to produce their next single. New Blood is Yellow Claw showing another side of their musicality, an oftentimes chill, definitely summery record to enjoy at home or on the road, whether you’re commuting or vacationing. They’re letting go of the expectations of genre and embrace the challenge of new adventures. For the first time, Nils himself is singing on a track ("Summertime"). It's no coincidence that New Blood is the first Yellow Claw album to be released on their own label.
New Blood was recorded in California, Thailand and Holland. It may prove to be a transitional album for Yellow Claw, featuring as it does ballads and bangers, pop songs and garage tunes, tropical rap and chill vibes. This Fall, Jim will begin work on directing his third feature film.