Christian Artists To Know: Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids
Genre: Rock
Sub-genres: Indie, Blues, Progressive, Folk
Location: Fullerton, CA
Label: Downtown Records
Christian label: no
Category: The Light whats this?

Clingy guitars, bobbing rhythms, and an slight twang give California’s Cold War Kids a sound all to themselves. Formed in 2004, Cold War Kids have been a nonstop pace since they met each other at a Bible Institute in LA.  Their sound wears its influences on it’s sleeve, combing elements of Bob Dylan folk, modern day indie rock, and small sprinkles of blues ever so often.  The band quickly started the ball rolling and by 2006, they had released four EPs, along with their debut LP, Robbers & Cowards. It was off this album that their first big single came from, and indie fans all over became addicted to the pulsing bass lines and unique vocal delivery from singer Nathan Willet.

Cold War Kids music is uncompromisingly innovative, pulling sounds from influences that are unusual in the modern musical landscape.  Their widespread success in their short career has been solely based on their ability to create fresh and interesting music over and over. So far, they have not disappointed.  They have built a bond with their fans over relentless touring since the release of Robber & Cowards almost three years ago. Their live shows are where they truly shine, allowing these true artists to flex and expand upon their vast library, giving fans new tastes of old songs at every show.

Once again, Cold War Kids are band who do not want to be pigeon holed by their faith, so they have shy in the media concerning their beliefs. Despite their protests, however, the band found themselves the center of controversy a few years ago when viciously denounced the band, almost entirely based on their faith, and not their music. For months the fans and critics debated over should a band should be judged by its members or it’s music, and even though the debate died down, most believe Cold War Kids have since been snubbed in the music industry ever since, based on their beliefs in Christ.

Despite the obstacles, Cold War Kids carried on and released to their second LP, Loyalty To Loyalty, to critical (save Pitchfork) acclaim.

The song that brought them into the mainstream was with no debate, “Hang Me Out To Dry”, off of Robbers & Cowards. Here the band preforms this bouncy little song on BBC’s Later….With Jools Holland.

another great song from the band is “Hospital Bed”, and the band is in full form here preforming at Reading & Leeds Fest in 2007.

The One21 Music was created to bring you bands like Cold War Kids. We always wanted musicians of faith who didn’t quite fit in to idea that most people have for Christian music. No, Cold War Kids are not the type of band that make straight gospel music, but they can only write from their heart. Those hearts belong to Jesus, so the message is there. It may not be on the surface, but God has this funny way of using His people for His own will.

Simply put, Cold War Kids are a great band who just happen to believe in Jesus Christ. While this doesn’t make them what most people would consider a “Christian band”, what else does it make them?

While you are thinking about that, go watch “Hang Me Out To Dry” again, and tell me you don’t love this band….

You can get Cold War Kids music digitally on Cold War Kids

You can also get their CDs on Amazon: Robbers & Cowards(2006), Loyalty to Loyalty(2008)


  1. Adam says:

    Love, love, love this band. Saw them live last year and it was the best concert I’ve ever been too. Not outright about their faith, but their lyrics bear a social conscious that is undeniably Christlike.

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve never listened to their music but have heard their name dropped a lot. I’m intrigued by them after reading this, so I’ll be checking out their music for sure…

  3. K says:

    Cold War Kids are NOT a ‘Christian band’

  4. ian says:

    agreed, but they are a band comprised of believers that create their music from a perspective of hope and faith

  5. K says:

    I don’t agree Ian, I think CWK use sheer creativity and life experience. There aren’t really any explicit overtones of Christianity in their music. Yeah, they consist of believers, but not devout. For example, Kings Of Leon are far more religious, and they couldn’t be labelled a Christian band.

    I think it’s cool that Christians can relate to their music. Everyone interprets music and lyrics differently I guess. I’m an Atheist, and I was actually suprised when reading this article, the thought of them being a Christian band never even crossed my mind, and I have all their albums and EP’s.

    But I don’t think it’s fair that just because they consist of some Christian members, they should be seized by the religious music community.

  6. ian says:

    No, it isnt ministry based, but the faith is there. Our contention is that if art is created from a heart changed by Christ, then that heart peaks in even when there art is not directly intended to express that. We have dealt with this alot on our website, and in fact have come up with a category system to deal with the full spectrum of faith-based music. You can read about it here:

    We arnt really interested in religion as we are the heart


  1. [...] The Cold War Kids will also be playing at 7PM, but at Auditorium Shores (its big and free, you cant miss it) [...]

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