The Killers release new album amid pandemic and allegations


Illustration by Marissa Haas.

From the band that once had every college freshman jamming out to “Mr. Brightside”, The Killers are once again exceeding expectations with their new album, “Imploding the Mirage.” 

While the album was originally slated to release in May of this year, the band postponed due to delays related to the pandemic. According to a tweet from The Killers’ Twitter, “COVID-19 monkey wrenched us. But we persevered.” 

“Imploding the Mirage” also came in the midst of recent allegations that a female crew member was sexually assaulted by a front of house engineer during their 2009 US tour. While an investigation showed no evidence of an assault, the band still continued to postpone the album release to remain focused on the safety of their crew. 

“I feel relieved that we were actually able to get to the bottom of it, actually find this woman and make sure that she was okay. The most important thing is that there was no assault. That’s just nothing but relief,” frontman Brandon Flowers said in an interview with NME. “From what we see backstage, the people we hire and the people in the band, we’ve never witnessed anything like that happen. If something like that did happen, we would want to know.”

After all the waiting, fans were pleased with the effort put into the latest alternative, dreamy pop album that the band released. The early release of  singles “Caution”, “My Owl Soul’s Warning” and “Fire In Bone” allowed listeners a sneak peek at Flowers’ inspiring anthems throughout the album. 

While often being compared to Bruce Sprinsteen and Duran Duran, The Killers have a tone directed more towards pop-punk alternative crowds. Many songs on “Imploding the Mirage”, however, play into these 80s style comparisons by having an electric synth throughout the melody of songs such as “Blowback” and “When The Dreams Run Dry.” 

Flowers’ iconic and original voice is present in mere seconds at the start of the album. With strong vocals and a steady tone, no one sounds like this lead singer, and to be honest, no one ever will. With inspirational lyrics about breaking free and “throwing caution to the wind”, The Killers continue to substitute feelings with angst and rules with defiance. 

The album features guests such as Lindsey Buckingham, K.D. Lang and Weyes Blood, who all contribute to the flexible nature of the band’s tracks. Even though guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer decided to break from music during COVID-19, the band’s two permanent members continued to excel throughout the production of the album amid a worldwide pandemic. 

“We were trying to make it sound like the band wasn’t fractured,” Flowers said in an interview with Rolling Stone. 

Just minutes after the album was released, the band performed “Blowback” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The performance was whimsical and laid back, much like the song itself. Many of the songs throughout the album mirror the same inspirational essence and playful tone executed by Flowers behind his vocals. 

When asked about his inspiration throughout his music career in an interview earlier this month, Flowers connected his music to his passion for golfing. He began to quote South African golfer Gary Player by saying, “The more I practice, the luckier I got.” 

“Imploding the Mirage” is an album that continues to defy expectations, much like The Killers themselves during these hectic times.