Our Top 10 Songs from The Kills introduces us to an English-American rock duo that has since 2001 released charming hits with every album. Before they formed The Kills, vocalist Alison Mosshart played music with the punk rock band Discount while guitarist Jamie Hince was featured in both Blyth Power and Scarfo. The two would meet in England when Alison’s band had toured England, where she insisted on forming a band with Hince, who she believed was a perfect guitarist and band man. The two would start writing songs while exchanging ideas for The Kills even though Alison was still committed to Discount. When Discount disbanded, Mosshart would move to London, where the two took to stage their art as VV and Hotel. However, they later opted for a better and long-lasting moniker, The Kills, which they felt would last for decades.
It wasn’t long after this that the band began to write songs with a drum machine using ideas they had collected on tapes since having a mutual agreement to form a band. At first, the pair would avoid attention from major record labels choosing Domino Records for their debut release, the Black Rooster EP. A debut album, Keep on Your Mean Side, would come shortly after the band had world tours to promote their EP. With every album release, The Kills have become stronger and mightier while their fanbase grows larger. Here are the Top 10 Songs from The Kills that have made the band legendary with only five studio albums on their name.
#10 – Heart of a Dog
Ushering us to the top 10 songs from The Kills is the ballad “Heart of a Dog” from the band’s 2016 album Ash & Ice. Alison wrote the song at Hedgebrook, a retreat center for female writers in Washington. “Heart of a Dog” is a desperate declaration of loyalty to some lover. Notably, the song was named after a 1925 novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, which Alison grabbed for a read while at the retreat center.
#9 – The Last Goodbye
Featured on The Kills’ 2011 album Blood Pressures, “The Last Goodbye” is an awe-inspiring release that finds Alison unleashing her inner cabaret singer. “The Last Goodbye” was inspired by Alison’s inability to survive on a one-sided love relationship that would never feel complete. Thanks to its difference from other songs lyrically, the fans and the band members love it big. You ought to love the gentle burlesque-style piano beats in the song that helps trade the song’s mood without a struggle. And Alison, in an interview, admits that life goes on, and despite having life start unfavorably, things turn around, and happiness prevails.
#8 – Satellite
Also from the band’s album Blood Pressures is “Satellite,” a hard-grooving blues-rock ballad. “Satellite” was inspired by a phone conversation between Jamie Hince and his girlfriend, Kate Moss. Poor network coverage and lost signals are all that gave Hince something to write about this song. The song’s video would have the band travel to England’s Canvey Island, a resort area that fell out of favor and looks like a ghost town. Such a venue would make complete sense for this song, thanks to the relatability of the “Satellite’s” theme.
#7 – Black Balloon
“Black Balloon” was one of the best songs from The Kills’ 2008 album Midnight Boom. The song is a quite docile act having it use black balloons metaphorically to imply loss and the necessity to move on. “Black Balloon” was quite a hit, featured on the film Asthma and TV series The Good Wife. The song went on to chart in the France SNEP music chart, reaching a peak position of number 74.
#6 – Future Starts Slow
Number six on our top 10 songs from The Kills is another hit from the band’s album Blood Pressures which helps assert that this was the most successful music album by The Kills. “Future Starts Now” is about intimacy and fighting, as revealed by the band’s guitarist Hince. The song has been featured on the 2012 TV miniseries Political Animals and episodes of Person of Interest and Altered Carbon.
#5 – Cheap and Cheerful
“Cheap and Cheerful” clearly depicts this claim that humans crave a pint of emotions rather than embrace minimalist life, which is by far cheerful. It seems loving someone calm and composed for life is a boring thing, so if you are doing this, probably it’s time you embrace a life that might bring a rollercoaster of emotions. Or maybe you shouldn’t!
#4 – Siberian Nights
Written by guitarist Hince, “Siberian Nights” is one of the sublime lyrical compositions from The Kills that add glamour to their 2016 album Ash & Ice. He would be inspired to write the song when he was on a personal trip boarding The Trans-Siberian Express. On the freezing cold night at The Trans-Siberian Express, Hince decided to write a song about Vladimir Putin’s. Notably, Pussy Riot was at its height at the time Hince wrote the song. So even though the song might seem homoerotic and sexually explicit, its message is more of Vladimir Putin’s masculinity.
#3 – U.R.A. Fever
“U.R.A. Fever” is an almost perfect call and response ballad which brings out the best of The Kills guitarist Hince and vocalist Alison. And if you thought guitarist Hince wouldn’t make it big with his vocals, then you are wrong! Thanks to the powerful guitar riffs that “U.R.A. Fever” brings Hince’s skills to life, adding some glamour to the song. The song makes a perfect opener to the band’s most successful album, Midnight Boom.
#2 – Tape Song
“Tape Song” is by far the highlight of The Kills album, Midnight Boom. The song is built on some great instrumentals, allowing Alison to exercise her powerful vocal range. “Tape Song” is one of the few songs from The Kills that might have you a little bit confused about the lyrics. You probably might need to check the song’s lyrics to confirm that you’re not just singing your self-made parody or version to the song!
#1 – Doing It To Death
Number one of our top 10 songs from The Kills is “Doing It To Death” from its 2016 album Ash & Ice. Guitarist Hince admits that were it not for losing one finger an accident in the 2010s, he would not have come up with guitar riffs like those in this song. That’s a clear depiction that what you thought was the death of you might as well be your saving grace! “Doing It To Death” was his guitar version of a dancehall track. You might be surprised to know that the lyrics were the last thing The Kills composed, proving that the song’s instrumental and mood set the pace to the song’s greatness!
Top 10 Songs From The Kills article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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