Dylan Kongos Dishes On Long-Awaited New KONGOS Album

Armed with an accordion and a double platinum record, Phoenix band KONGOS re-entered the music world Friday with a new single, "Take It From Me."

KONGOS, a band of four brothers who went to high school in Scottsdale, are finishing up the long-awaited sequel to the widely successful 2012 album Lunatics. But the new album, titled Egomaniacs, looks to have a darker edge than the likes of the band's "Come With Me Now" era.

“It’s definitely a continuation or a nice bridge," KONGOS bassist Dylan Kongos says of the new single. "It’ll allow our fans to recognize it as KONGOS. It sounds like KONGOS, but at the same time ... you’ll hear a kind of progression to what Egomaniac is going to sound like."

And that progression is subtle, but apparent. The single holds consistent to the group's style, with heavy accordion, powerful drum beats, and African influences. However, accompanying that traditional KONGOS sound are electronic undertones not present on the first album.

Beyond the musical progression, Dylan said the tone and themes in the next album have evolved.

"We started to see this theme develop in everyone’s writing, especially about egomania," Dylan says. "We chose the songs based on those themes for the track listing of this album. It’s a big-sounding album, lots of layers around vocals and lead guitar. It definitely sounds like KONGOS, but there’s been a progression — more electronic elements.”

The new album, releasing June 10, will focus on their lives post-Lunatic, and all the fame and success — and ego — that brought. 

"It’s about momentum and not being able to stop, whatever that momentum might be, whatever direction that momentum might be taking you in," Dylan says, "whether that’s your ego, a desire, an addiction. It's about anything that’s dragging you along, and you don’t seem to be in control." 

This is encapsulated visually in the song's music video, which debuted the same day as the single. It features a group of girls pumping a bike pump and inflating the band members' heads like balloons.

However, like both of their previous albums, audiences should expect a variety. Each brother takes hold of about a fourth of the album. They each brought 10 or 15 songs to the table, then constructed the album from there.

"In this band at least, it’s going to be, 'Bring a good song to the table and make sure we put just good songs on the album and not try to pigeonhole us into any particular style,'" Dylan says. "Whether it’s a more country-leaning song or a more ballad-y indie rock song, whatever it is, it’s got to be good."

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Megan is finishing her bachelor's in journalism at Arizona State University and hopes to be an investigative reporter. She loves everything from classic rock to rap — except country, of course.
Contact: Megan Janetsky