Throwback Thursday: “Hang Me Up to Dry” by Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids have a band name that (to me at least) instantly brings to mind slouchy Converse and a disaffected vibe. I’m suddenly looking at the world through ’00s eyes, which means that it’s, you guessed it, time for a Throwback Thursday. Cold War Kids weren’t on heavy rotation for me back then until I watched Gossip Girl. Look: I freely admit my spectrum of high-low pop culture experience. And besides, the show, aside from its incredibly trashy viral marketing campaign and bad plot lines, really did have great music.


The song kicks off with slow and jangly guitar. Honestly, I had forgotten how deep “Hang Me Up to Dry” sounds, if that makes sense: the vocals are pitched low and, paired with the rhythm section, move only a little bit faster than molasses. It’s a little bit like “Float On” by Modest Mouse. Things shift with the chorus. Here, our lead singer’s voice gets a higher pitch. Now it’s reminiscent of Foster the People, if Foster the People wasn’t obscured by noisy, Passion Pit-esque punches of brilliant sound. That whole cluster of bands feels borrowed from each other; then again, that’s what music is, isn’t it? Cold War Kids, though, is distinct in that their songs have a looser feel, and this is particularly evident on “Hang Me Up to Dry.” The drums keep us steady, but as the song progresses, discordant piano gets sprinkled in. Towards the end, there’s an odd noise like a bicycle wheel spinning backwards.

Man, relistening to this song for this post made me remember how much I like this song. It’s a true jam and the laundry metaphor is very clever. I scrolled through the YouTube comments briefly, which is usually a mistake, but here it was mostly people reminiscing about their own connections to the song. Do you remember “Hang Me Up to Dry”? If so, what are your memories of hearing it?

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