Before reading anything about the lead single for Priests’ second album, The Seduction of Kansas, I noticed that something was decidedly different. After doing the very minimal amount of research required to find out they’ve switched bassists and worked with a new producer, it explained everything.
Instead of Taylor Mulitz, they’re working with multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Janel Leppin, and with producer John Congleton.
This isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. The bass line and the melody in this single are a little less light-hearted, a little less raucous than what we’ve heard from the band in the past. They almost have a hymn-like cantor to them. The wilder vibe was the quality that I personally appreciated most about them as a band – when their sound was a little bit thrown together in a really appealing way. “The Seduction of Kansas” is still fun and upbeat, but it’s got a more serious tone to it. It’s even a little more pop-influenced than the post-punk sound they’ve solidified themselves upon.
This tone does become more understandable when you listen to the lyrics, which are ominous and politically peppered: “It’s the last picture show, all the cowboys they get ready/For a drawn-out charismatic parody of what a country thought it used to be.”
It’s a real mystery what the rest of the album will sound like based on this lead single, but an exciting one. Maybe this is the far extreme of their new sound, maybe it’s just a taste?