Imagine Dragons. The cool-as-anything Las Vegas Rock band that just keeps on giving after erupting on the scene back in our teens.
How do they keep up their modern existence? Their music holds a kind of chaotic strength and an emotional relatability that allows their best tracks to become timeless pieces, made to pack out stadiums. They aspire to be genreless artists, playing with rock, hip-hop, pop, and folk to create an unparalleled sound; courageously never giving in to riding on trends like most rock bands in the pop-sphere.
Over their time, Imagine Dragons have released multiple independent EP’s that quickly earned their respected hype before the delivery of four full studio albums. They hold a (near ridiculous) number of sonic achievements including the release of 40 million albums and 50 million songs sold globally, as well as 60 billion combined streams. You can catch their tracks in killer visual works such as the Hunger Games, Transformers, DC Universe, Grey’s Anatomy, Suits, Mission Impossible, Riverdale, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Once Upon A Time and the Angry Birds Movie. It becomes rather obvious from this extensive list, that we love to hear them.
Forming in 2009, the band flew slightly under the radar for a couple of years although they were named ‘Best Local Indie Band of 2010’ by Las Vegas Weekly, and ‘Las Vegas’ Newest Must-See Act’ by Las Vegas City Life. The big break into mainstream radio with ‘It’s Time’ happened in the summer of 2012. Once the spotlight hit, it was all go from there. Let’s take a look at the magical discography of Imagine Dragons.
Night Visions (2012)
Debut album Night Visions reached second on the Billboard 200, with its most popular song on the album we all know and love, ‘Radioactive’ hitting number one on the Billboard Rock Charts and taking out the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance. If we’re picking favorites, ‘Demons’ would definitely have to take the cake personally, alongside the OG chorus-screamer, ‘It’s Time’ which earned itself a double platinum. All of the Imagine Dragons bangers on this album remain incredibly striking after the millionth play and never go astray on a Saturday morning at the flat.
Smoke + Mirrors (2015)
After being cleverly teased with hidden billboards and posted jigsaw pieces of song titles around American cities, Smoke + Mirrors followed suit in success, the album reaching number one on Billboard charts in 2015 and sparking a hugely successful worldwide tour. The band even released a one-night-only concert film, Imagine Dragons In Concert: Smoke + Mirrors, in select theaters on March 2, 2016. Best performing songs on the album were ‘Shots’ and ‘I Bet My Life’ – both of which make you cry of joy whilst singing whilst the stadium belts out in chorus.
Was released in 2017 and was nominated for ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ at the Grammys but received a mixture of critical reviews. Their lead single ‘Believer’ came out before the album as a teasing crumb and it made its way to play at the Superbowl and Nintendo Switch! Despite their mixed reception with the critics, Evolve tracks “Believer”, “Thunder”, and “Whatever It Takes” made Imagine Dragons the band with the most weeks at number-one on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. The album reached the top five in most countries.
Origins moved mountains for the boys with it sitting comfortably on the alternative and top rock album Billboard charts, the lead track ‘Natural’ spending nine solid weeks at number one – which was one of two of the first tracks to be pre-released alongside ‘Zero’. The album weaves in important messages from lead-singer and writer Dan Reynolds about the impact of solitude and alienation in modern culture, proving his song-writing capabilities and large heart to all who listened in.
Imagine Dragons have just released new music for the first time in three years.
Yep, we’ve got some brand-new music in our hot little hands. There are two state-of-the-art tracks to decipher. They’re edgy, they’re rock, and most importantly, they act as an extraordinary teaser for the album to come.
Lead singer Dan Reynolds released an announcement on his personal Twitter account:
— Dan Reynolds (@DanReynolds) March 11, 2021
From the two released tracks, it seems ‘Follow You’ and ‘Cutthroat’ are from two totally different ends of the mental spectrum, giving us an inkling of how the record shall be crafted when it’s released. I believe we can buckle up for a journey of disparity – both in composed highs and lows. I think this approach will be well received, as it’s honest and raw, and we’ve all been needing an escape from the craziness that is this current world pandemic.
‘Follow You’ is a love song, carefully strung together with gracious ease. Joel Little killed the production of it, with Dan Reynolds writing lyrics based on his personal experience with getting back together with his wife after they were almost officially set to divorce. It feels personal and genuine, and the orchestral elements bake a beautiful depth into the seams, as we discover Dan, although he may not be able to fix things, will follow ‘her’ everywhere she goes to make sure she’s okay.
Then we have ‘Cutthroat’, produced by legend Rick Rubin. It’s a grueling listen, and a punk-anthem in its right. It feels like an off the wall creative industrial gem you stumble upon in your ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist and smash hard for hours on full bore. Its dark atmosphere is met with menacing piano synths and heavy drums, with Dan singing with a sound that almost whispers in its delivery before things refreshingly progress into him screaming down the mic. It’s an interesting musical journey and something that I feel I need to play a few times to have it really sink in. As an old-time fan of the band, ‘Cutthroat’ has me stoked to be receiving a full album of what sounds like a take on more experimental type rock.
“Rubin pushed me to be less metaphorical as a writer and to be more direct, which can be more poetic and more powerful.” says Reynolds.
We know Imagine Dragons have had a rough year, going through the loss of close family and friends, and taking some time out to focus on their mental health. The return of the band, with not only two newly released tracks but a teaser for an entirely new album, means we could be about to be treated to the rawest work of Imagine Dragons yet. The best part? It’s all coming our way soon!