In three short years, Elektra/Atlantic recording artists KALEO scored a trifecta of global hits, received a GRAMMY nomination, watched their first album, 2016’s A/B, go Gold and toured incessantly. Every bit of that lived experience is packed into their sophomore album Surface Sounds, slated for release on June 5, 2020, with new track “Alter Ego” available NOW.
Frontman and songwriter JJ Julius Son has been in the studio off-and-on for two years, allowing for a combination of globe-trotting and meticulous tinkering, resulting in a spectrum of sounds recorded around the world – in North America, South America and across Europe. The final product is refreshingly free of calculation, with Julius Son allowing each tune to dictate its path while simultaneously leaning-in to his blues, folk and rock inclinations.
“First off, I wanted to acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety that everyone is facing today. We considered postponing this announcement, but that also didn’t seem right as we all strive for any shred of normalcy,” Julius Son explains from his home in Iceland. “Times like this remind us of what matters most. Instinctively as human beings we shift our focus from the superficial to collectively supporting our neighbors. That sentiment is actually echoed in Surface Sounds. My hope now is that the album can serve as a reminder that what is on the surface is not nearly as important as what is inside, and it’s our duty to lift one another up in times of need.
“In many ways, Surface Sounds has always been such a puzzle for me,” continues Julius Son of the collection of tracks recorded while on the road. “I’ve literally jumped into studios in Greece, South America, and all over Europe, creating what is now Surface Sounds. Any time I went home to Iceland, every time I was in L.A., I enjoy seeing what we can create in the moment and in each environment.”
In addition to the release of “Alter Ego,” which Julius Son calls “probably the most classic rock and roll song” on the album, the Icelandic rock band released two new tracks earlier this year showcasing the contrast in sounds and imagery expected on Surface Sounds. Praised by Texas Monthly as a “tender-yet-tough anthem,” “I Want More” is contrasted with “Break My Baby,” which allows a look into the darker side of KALEO and is described by Loudwire as “hooky and groovy, showcasing the range of [Julius Son’s] vocal and a gritty, bluesy approach.”
KALEO recently performed “I Want More” on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Feb. 27. Watch it HERE.
KALEO sets out on their 40+ city North American leg of their Fight or Flight Tour in Portland, Oregon on July 1, with special guests Matt Maeson, Belle Mt. and Wilder Woods joining on select dates. Fans who purchase two (2) or more tickets online at OfficialKALEO.com for select KALEO Fight or Flight Tour stops includes one (1) physical or digital copy of Surface Sounds.^
KALEO’s Surface Sounds Track Listing is as follows:
- Brother Run Fast
- Break My Baby (produced by Mike Elizondo and co-produced by JJ Julius Son)
- Alter Ego
- Free the Slave
- Hey Gringo
- The USA Today (produced by Shawn Everett and JJ Julius Son)
- My Fair Lady
- I Want More (produced by JJ Julius Son)
- I Walk on Water (co-written with David Antonsson)
- Into My Mother’s Arms (produced by JJ Julius Son)
All music written solely by JJ Julius Son and produced by Dave Cobb and Julius Son unless otherwise noted.
KALEO’s 2020 Fight or Flight Tour dates are as follows:
Italicized dates denote festival performances | * Denotes inclusion for ticket/album bundle
# Features openers Wilder Woods and Belle Mt. | ~ Features openers Matt Maeson and Belle Mt.
+ Features opener Belle Mt.
7/1/2020 McMenamins Edgefield
7/2/2020 Marymoor Park
7/4/2020 Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre Vancouver, BC*#
7/11/2020 Basilica Block Party
7/14/2020 The Fillmore
7/15/2020 20 Monroe Live
7/17/2020 Aragon Ballroom
7/19/2020 Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland Kansas City, MO*~
7/21/2020 Red Rocks Amphitheatre
7/24/2020 Harrah’s Stir Cove
7/25/2020 St. Louis Music Park
7/28/2020 Palace Theatre
7/30/2020 The Riverside Theater
8/1/2020 Hinterland Music Festival
8/3/2020 Ascend Amphitheater
8/7/2020 Red Hat Amphitheater
8/8/2020 Charlotte Metro Credit Union Charlotte, NC*~
8/11/2020 House of Blues
8/12/2020 The Fillmore
9/9/2020 Palace Theatre
9/12/2020 Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion Boston, MA*~
9/15/2020 Place Bell
9/16/2020 RBC Echo Beach
9/18/2020 The Anthem
9/19/2020 Terminal 5
9/21/2020 Stage AE
9/22/2020 Express Live Indoor Pavilion
9/25/2020 PNC Pavilion
9/26/2020 Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn Indianapolis, IN*~
9/29/2020 Coca-Cola Roxy
10/2/2020 The Fillmore
10/3/2020 Revention Music Center
10/5/2020 The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory Irving, TX*~
10/6/2020 Bass Concert Hall
10/9/2020 The Van Buren
10/10/2020 House of Blues
10/13/2020 The Greek Theatre
10/16/2020 The Warfield
10/17/2020 The Warfield
^U.S. and Canadian fans will receive a separate email after ticket purchase with instructions on how to redeem the album. Offer not valid on single-ticket orders or re-sale tickets. One CD/digital copy per online order.