Exclusive – NME.COM hears new White Stripes songs

'Icky Thump' tracks previewed in London

NME.COM has been given exclusive first preview of the new White Stripes album ‘Icky Thump’ today (March 2).

Three song from the the follow-up to 2005’s ‘Get Behind Me Satan’ were aired at a special playback at London‘s Soho Revue Bar.

The duo recently recorded and mixed their new album at Nashville, Tennessee‘s Blackbird Studio.


Here’s NME.COM‘s verdict on the three tracks we heard:

‘Icky Thump’

Starts with Meg on pounding bass drums, then breaks into an experimental, heavy sounding 70s riff, that at points varies from a ‘Black Math’-like rock sound to electronic sounding, processed sections. The vocals almost never repeat themselves as and there’s little conventional structure. Jack’s vocals are heavily treated in the production with one of the few clear lyrics in this mainly instrumental track, going, “Why don’t you kick yourself out, you’re an immigrant too”.

‘What Love Is’

A more classic sounding White Stripes song recalling ’White Blood Cells’-era. It’s a strong, melodic love song with Jack singing the following for the chorus: ”You’re not hopeless or helpless/I hate to sound cold/But you don’t know what love is/You do as you’re told”.



The biggest departure of the three tracks previewed. It’s an unexpected mix of big guitars and a bold horn section. Boasting a Spanish, Latin feel, it’s a third person storytelling song about a serial womaniser, who finally meets his match. “Conquest, he was out to make a conquest” sings Jack. “She was just another conquest, but the hunted became the huntress”.

Generally the feel with these tracks, is the band are back to big sounding guitars, but allying that with some very experimental, almost electronic sections.

Interestingly the three tracks were accompanied by an in the studio video of the duo recording the songs, and teasingly one section even feature a bagpipe player, though the instrument didn’t appear on any of the tracks.

The tracklisting for the album will also include:

‘Catch Hell Blues’

‘Little Cream Soda’

‘Rag And Bone’

‘Clicky Bump’

‘You Don’t Know What Love Is (Just Do As You’re Told)’

‘I’m Slowly Turning Into You’

A date is still to be set for the album’s release, but it is expected to be out in June.