Kings Of Leon seem to be keeping their heads down lately, notably quiet since the tail-end of 2011 at the end of a year that was shrouded in controversy. With in-fighting, injuries and tour cancellations all marring the band’s continued commercial success.
While it looks like the Followill family are taking some time out to re-assess, one of the flock – bassist Jared Followill – is using the down time for some extracurricular activities.
Namely, a new side-project with Nick Brown of Nashville, Tennessee act, Mona called Smoke & Jackal.
As NME points out, the duo have released the first taste of their forthcoming debut EP, a six-track set simply called EP1 – set for an October 15 release through RCA Records.
No points for creativity there, but the first song from the new Kings of Leon side project shows that the pair have honed the chops of their day jobs. ‘No Tell’ is the result, reportedly written on the first night the pair met and worked on sessions at Brown’s home studio in Nashville.
The duo first began writing together at the start of the year and finished writing and recording what would become EP1 in just one week.
Speaking about his new outfit, Followill says: “Coming together just worked. I think it’s because we took such an easy approach to it, we didn’t bring any egos to it.” After his brother’s boozy outbursts with Kings Of Leon, its understandable that Jared Followill would relish a bit more of a casual approach.
“We just talked about each other’s ideas,” continues the bassist, “neither one of us got our feelings hurt. It just worked.” Meanwhile Mona frontman Brown added: “It was all about tone and vibe and what felt right in that moment. Not second guessing, just having fun in that moment.”
Writing on their website, the pair describe their tunes as an “evocative and original melding of oceanic rock with bottomless grooves and hypnotic dub textures.” The lead track from Some & Jackal’s self-produced album, ‘No Tell’ is close to that description.
A a steadily building pop-rock number, complete with a touch of U2-ish guitars, chugging bass and affable vocal melodies, it’s a pretty solid number for both Kings of Leon and Mona fans.
‘No Tell’ will be available as a single from August 28, with a video clip for the track due soon after. As for Followill’s dayjob? Kings of Leon are supposedly still working on the follow up to 2010’s Come Around Sundown, their sixth studio album.
Still, if things go pear-shaped, Followill’s got his back-up plan fairly sorted.
Have a listen to Smoke & Jackal’s ‘No Tell’ below: