band crush: citizens!

we’ve found the next “we are young.” Ready to get it stuck in your head?

by rebecca willa davis

A good band makes you think, I could totally make-out to this song. But a great band? Not only will you be making out with the person nearest to you within the first 30 seconds, but you'll also be completely oblivious to the world around you. We're not ready to call Citizens! a great band just yet, but if the music video for their very first single is any indicator, they have real potential. The British five-piece had been playing around London when Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos took an interest. The pop-minded frontman (himself no stranger to adding a bit of sex appeal in music) teamed up with the band, took them to Scotland, and produced Here We Are, Citizens!' debut album.

That comes out in the US in early October, but their video for "True Romance" comes out this week and not to give too much away, but it features couples in the midst of serious make-out sessions. "We love the famous photo of the couple making out in the street during the Vancouver riots--all hell is breaking loose around them yet they are in their own private universe," explains frontman Tom Burke. He continues: "For much of the last decade it has felt as if all hell is indeed breaking loose around us, and it is the job of pop music to champion the intense personal moments that no history or politics will ever destroy." It's big words, sure, but if any band in this over-hyped and post-buzz era can deliver on them, it's this one.

Their songs are an amalgamation of what makes British bands great--their goofy cockiness, their obsession with a good hook, their penchant for a little bit of glam--packaged in a way that is cleaned up just enough that they could help sell cars or beer (no really, we wouldn't be surprised to hear "True Romance" on a commercial before the end of the year). "['True Romance'] was an experiment to see what it would have sounded like if Kanye had produced Suicide. That's the sort of question that keeps us awake at night," says Burke, adding, "Alicia Keys saw it live and told is it sounded 'fierce!'"

And while we predict big things for this five-piece--especially once they kick-off their coast-to-coast tour of the US in October--the one thing Citizens! is still humble about is their ability to incite kissing. When asked just how hard it was to convince strangers to make out in the "True Romance" video, Burke demurs, "Easy--people are lonely." That may be true, but they also really love a good song.