Lo/Hi

Album: Let's Rock (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Lo/Hi" is a slice of Black Keys trademark blues-licked rock that finds Dan Auerbach lamenting being abandoned by a lover.

    Nobody to love you
    Nobody to care
    If you got nobody to hug you
    No one to answer


    There's often a lovesick element to Black Keys' lyrics; "Tighten Up" and "Lonely Boy" are other examples of the duo's songs about heartache.
  • The track was recorded at Nashville's Easy Eye Sound studio and features female backup vocals by the duo's frequent collaborators, Nashville's Leisa Hans and Ashley Wilcoxson.
  • "Lo/Hi" was The Black Keys' first new song released since their 2014 album Turn Blue. It represented a return to form for the band, becoming only the second track ever to reach #1 on all four Billboard rock airplay charts (Mainstream Rock Songs, Alternative Song, Adult Alternative Songs and Rock Airplay). The only other song to do so was Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dark Necessities."

    The week of May 18, 2019, "Hi/Lo" topped all four Billboard rock airplay charts simultaneously, becoming the first song ever to do so.
  • The song was released as the lead single from Let's Rock. The title and album artwork was inspired by the last words of double killer Edmund Zagorski. The convicted murderer was executed at Nashville's Riverbend Maximum Security Institution as the band started working on the album.

    "In the first week of recording, I read a local front page story about a prisoner being executed by electric chair, which is really rare," Dan Auberbach told The Sun. "His last words, 'Let's rock,' stuck in my mind. Fast forward a few months and we were trying to think of an album title concept... always so annoying and tedious."

    "But those words kept coming back to me, how absurd they were and how right on the money they were," he added. "We'd just made this rock 'n' roll record and it felt right, like it was given to us, like we were supposed to use it."
  • Auerbach told Uncut magazine the "Lo/Hi" title doesn't mean anything. "All I see are a bunch of inside rhymes," he explained, "and that's as far as I think about that song."

    The Black Keys guitarist added: "When I'm writing songs, I'm just trying to make something that feels good. It just has to feel good. And a lot of times the words are more about the vowels. And the vowel sounds, than they are the actual words."

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