How do I explain my love for The Killers? I’m not sure I can. If anyone attempts to tell me their criticisms of them, their attacks just bounce right off of me. Nothing penetrates the bubble of Killers love that I live in.
It’s definitely true to say that their music has become very much entwined with my life. But miraculously, because their music has been part of my life continuously since I first heard Hot Fuss, none of their albums have become too tainted with memories. I haven’t overplayed any of their albums in one small period of my life so that listening to that album takes me back to the feelings of that specific time. Their albums aren’t buried in the past. They manage to be a good mix of my past memories and my experiences in the present moment.
In 2009 I had the opportunity to go and see them live at Sheffield arena. The tickets came out on a school day morning so I had to enlist the help of my Mum who sat refreshing the booking page all morning. Eventually she got onto the booking page, dramatically dropped all the laundry when she saw it had loaded, and managed to book me and my friend a ticket each. When we arrived at the arena we found we were on the second to back row, meaning that The Killers were almost ant-sized from where we stood. And yet it didn’t matter. If anything, it made us even more excited to be there because we realised how close we were to missing out on tickets. It was a fantastic, exciting and emotional night that further cemented my love for The Killers.
It’s unsurprising, therefore, that when I heard a new Killers album was due to come out this year (the first since Day and Age in 2008) I was ridiculously excited. By the time I saw this trailer I was jumping up and down in anticipation:
This morning Battle Born arrived through my letterbox. I was shaking so much that for a while I couldn’t actually get the plastic packaging off. Seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? I’m always surprised when I have these moments of realisation about how much their music means to me and the effect it has. Only a few bands do this to me. They might not be the ones that feature in the ‘Top 100 Albums Ever’ lists in Rolling Stone, Q and NME, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that for some reason these albums speak to me, become entwined with my life, get me through the tougher times, join me for the fun times, never leave my side. Even when I’m not listening to them, there they are.
I know plenty of people don’t have this kind of relationship with music and perhaps think this sounds a bit crazy and exaggerated. But for me, this is how it is. So feel free to go ahead and criticise Battle Born or any other Killers album, but it’s going to bounce right off me with little effect. I don’t think it’s a case of being closed minded. It’s more that these albums are so entwined with my life that I can’t ever abstract them far enough away from me to see them as a separate object to assess in this manner.
I will, at some point, be talking about Battle Born over at A to Z Albums but, given that we’ve already passed that point in the alphabet, I’m not sure when it’ll happen. At least that gives me plenty of time to fully entwine Battle Born with my life.
And I cannot wait.