#SOTD: “10 Lovers” by The Black Keys

Today’s Song of the Day is “10 Lovers” by The Black Keys

The Black Keys are pretty well known in the musical world with hits like “Fever”, “Howlin’ For You”, and “Tighten Up.” I discovered this song from their 2014 album Turn Blue while listening to the Arctic Monkeys radio on Spotify and fell in love with it immediately.

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Album art for The Black Keys’ eighth studio album Turn Blue.

The song is a medium tempo, upbeat and not. It has the classic signature of many songs by The Black Keys: lyrics that tear at your heart and a beat that you can’t help but nod along and tap your feet to. Written by Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton, and Patrick Carney, this song stood out to me not only for the lyrics, but for the production and the sound of it. It has a unique composition of percussion and guitar that gives it a vintage 80’s feel. That said, it is a timeless song about the pain of heartbreak that is relatable for any age group.

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Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys

The backing female vocals provide a duality for the song that gives the impression that the pain being expressed in the lyrics comes not only from a male perspective but from a female perspective as well. Much like the rest of the album, “10 Lovers” is inspired partially by the divorce of critically acclaimed producer and one half of the group: Dan Auerbach. The album was recorded both in Hollywood, California and in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The general vibe of Turn Blue is markedly more desolate in comparison to the preceding album El Camino. The title of the album itself, “Turn Blue”, was inspired by a catchphrase frequently used by Ghoulardi, a fictional horror host of the 1960s.

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Ghoulardi, horror host for Cleveland, Ohio radio station WJW-TV Channel 8’s Shock Theatre (1963-1966).

Outside of this song, Turn Blue, like much of The Black Keys albums, is clearly inspired by blues and soul, making it uniquely emotional to listen to. The songs on this album are songs you would listen to after a particularly bad breakup; songs you would find yourself crying at while dancing around your room once you actually paid attention to the gut-wrenching lyrics.

“When I hear them use your name

I get all choked up inside

It’s not only from the shame

It’s like ten different lovers died”

10 Lovers by The Black Keys

These opening lyrics leave no doubt as to the direction the song will go as it is a blow to the chest from the start.

You need this song in your life. Its juxtaposing lyrics, upbeat tempo, and unique sound make it a perfect fit on any playlist. It is a song that you can listen to on repeat and not get tired of. It flows perfectly with the overall sound of the album and boasts the writing and production skills of members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. It can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube, Tidal, and Spotify, specifically on the Song of the Day playlist.

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