As frontman of the Black Keys, vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach embraced the raw sound of electric blues-rock alongside drummer Pat Carney. The Ohio-based band released a string of acclaimed albums during the early 2000s, including the Top 20 hit Attack & Release, before Auerbach opted to branch out with a concurrent solo career. Having built his own studio in Akron, Ohio, the songwriter began recording new material that melded his bluesy background with elements of psychedelia, country, and gospel. Recording sessions took place during the downtime between the Black Keys' tour dates, and Auerbach soon compiled enough material for a debut album. The resulting record, Keep It Hid, was released in 2009 by Nonesuch.
After the release of Keep It Hid, Auerbach returned to the Black Keys and the duo broke into the mainstream with 2010's Brothers and 2011's El Camino. The group's success opened the door for more creative collaborations for Auerbach and he seized them, producing everybody from the garage rock band Reigning Sound to New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John. The Black Keys took an extended break after 2014's Turn Blue, and that year also saw Auerbach's biggest productions to date: Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence, Ray LaMontagne's Supernova, and Nikki Lane's debut All or Nothin'. In 2015, he formed the sideband the Arcs, who released Yours, Dreamily, that year. Auerbach teamed with the Pretenders' for their 2016 album Alone before returning in June of 2017 with Waiting on a Song, his second solo record. Bearing a strong '80s pop influence -- the lead single "Shine on Me" nodded toward Jeff Lynne productions -- Waiting on a Song also featured cameos from Duane Eddy and John Prine. Later that December, Auerbach released the decidedly vintage-sounding single "Cellophane Angel," which he recorded with New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band. ~ Andrew Leahey