Posts Tagged ‘dBpm Records’

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There’s nothing cheerful about Wilco’s weary new release, “Ode to Joy”, but Jeff Tweedy’s sullen, even sardonic, songs on the band’s 11th studio album are no less appreciable for their dark matter. The decaying guitar tones, sorrowful flourishes, and incessant stomp of “Bright Leaves” sets the tone from the outset, as Tweedy sings, “I never change/You never change.” Some songs here are personal (“Hold Me Anyway”), others political (“Citizens”), but Wilco accompanies them all the same with their incredible chemistry and a restrained instrumentation that keeps Tweedy’s questions front and center. “I blow my horn for the whole band,” he sings.

“Ode to Joy” is Wilco’s eleventh studio album, and it seems informed by maturity, which is less a newfound dimension than a deepening of the band’s growth over the past decade. Jeff Tweedy’s relative calm in the face of turmoil is the defining force underlying the record, and it’s clear from the outset: his vocals on opener “Bright Leaves” sound like they were recorded as the rest of the room was napping. The song appears to address his marriage; that topic would have been mined for something caustic and even sinister on, say, Summerteeth, but here it is marveled at for its consistency and durability, warts and all. This isn’t head-in-the-sand naiveté, but rather a calculated effort to shun the grim perspectives Wilco may once have embraced.

Everyone’s perennial alt-rock favorites Wilco just want to feel joyful. Is that so much to ask? In 2019’s dire, dreary political climate, maybe it is. Maybe we should risk our individual happinesses to better our community; maybe there’s a way to materialize that joy into political action. That’s the central tension in the band’s song, “Love Is Everywhere (Beware),” It’s the lead single from their newly announced 11th album, “Ode to Joy”.

Ode to Joy – Wilco’s 11th studio album – released October. 4th , 2019 via dBpm Records. The album features 11 new songs written and produced by Jeff Tweedy and recorded by Wilco at The Loft (Chicago, IL) in January 2019. “Love is Everywhere (Beware)” is the first single from the album release.

Wilco - Ode To Joy

For a band that’s typically so meticulous and exacting in their sound and process, Wilco’s 2016 album Schmilco seemed like a rushed and pieced-together work that followed its predecessor, Star Wars, a little more than a year later. The strain was evident.

Ode to Joy is the bands the 11th studio album from the pioneering Chicago band Wilco – released via dBpm Records. The album features 11 new songs written and produced by Jeff Tweedy and recorded by Wilco at the bands’ own Chicago studio dubbed The Loft. The group went on a break, while leader Jeff Tweedy released three solo albums in succession, with the last, Warmer, arriving less than six months before Wilco return for their 11th LP, Ode to Joy.

A lot has happened in the relatively short three years between Wilco albums and, obviously, not all of them on the personal front. It’s been a rough period for a lot of people; anger, disillusionment and hopelessness seem to be at the core of a lot of lives these days. So, it’s no small thing that the record is called Ode to Joy. The somewhat winking title notwithstanding, there’s light in the darkness of these songs. You just have to dig a little to find it.

That’s a lot to ask, even from Wilco’s most devoted fans. Especially when the opening “Bright Leaves” barely works up a melody to lift spirits. But then the next two songs – “Before Us” and “One and a Half Stars” – proceed at a similar pace, and Ode to Joy begins to find strange comfort in its melancholy. “Now, when something’s dead, we try to kill it again,” Tweedy sings on “Before Us,” striking a sense of nostalgia for a lost past that eventually settles for resigned coziness.
The album is like that, creeping up on you with unexpected pokes you’re not really expecting to find in the sad-sack nature of many of the songs. By the time “Love Is Everywhere (Beware)” rolls along during the last third of the LP, Ode to Joy sounds like the most organic Wilco album since 2004’s A Ghost Is Born.

At times, the moody atmospherics underlining the songs amount to no more than mere hums; other times they become another instrument, pushing the tracks along. These sonic textures add haunting rumbles, fleeting noise bursts and the occasional melodic upswing.

But turmoil is always around the corner. The album’s opening lines – “I don’t like the way you’re treating me” – signal a theme that shows up throughout the album, even at its most uplifting moments. But there’s reserved hope, a tentative grasping for purpose in humanity, even when the chorus of a song called “Citizens” goes “White lies, white lies” and another one slyly titled “We Were Lucky” plays at a funeral-march pace.

Ode to Joy, like the best Wilco albums, can be oblique. That’s always been a draw, and it’s no less so here. The time away from each other has sharpened some of their ties. Tweedy is still in charge, but Nels Cline’s guitar cuts through the occasional clutter to expose the soul that’s not always surface evident. And the band’s focused interplay on standouts like “Everyone Hides” takes on a life-force of its own, even if the overall result seems a little slight compared to past masterworks like Being There and Summerteeth.

As with the band’s accidental post-9/11 meditation and career high-point Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – which was supposed to be released earlier in 2001 but didn’t come out until 2002 – Ode to Joy sounds like a reflection of the times. Art can’t help but to react, but maybe reading too much into the album shifts its intent and position.

Then again, maybe not. When Tweedy declares, “I’m freaking the fuck out / I’ll try to do my best, I guess” on “Hold Me Anyway,” it comes off like a summation of both the record and 2019. This isn’t a record to change the world or even Wilco’s place in it, like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot did. But in trying to make sense of it, Ode to Joy finds a sort of strength. And we’ll take what we can get these days.

Wilco are back with Ode To Joy, a decidedly optimistic collection of new tunes of really big, big folk songs, monolithic, brutal structures that these delicate feelings are hung on.

 

Wilco, photo by <a href="https://www.annabelmehran.com/">Annabel Mehran</a>

Wilco have announced their 11th studio album. It’s called “Ode to Joy” and it arrives October 4th via their own dBpm Records. In addition to the album announcement, Jeff Tweedy and co. have shared a new song.

Listen to lead single “Love Is Everywhere (Beware)” below,

Jeff Tweedy said of a new song in a statement:
There MUST be more love than hate. Right?! I’m not always positive we can be so sure. In any case, I’m starting to feel like being confident in that equation isn’t always the best motivation for me to be my best self—it can kind of let me off the hook a little bit when I think I should be striving to contribute more love outside of my comfortable sphere of family and friends.

So… I guess the song is sort of a warning to myself that YES, Love Is Everywhere, but also Beware! I can’t let that feeling absolve me of my duty to create more.

Wilco are heading out on tour this year. Ode to Joy marks the first Wilco album since 2016’s Schmilco. Tweedy’s first album of original solo songs, Warm, was released at the tail end of 2018. A follow-up companion album, Warmer, was also released earlier this year for Record Store Day.

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“Warmer”, the companion LP is to be released six months after Jeff Tweedy acclaimed 2018 solo album “Warm”, will be released exclusively on vinyl for Record Store Day 2019. There are ten previously unavailable studio recordings written and recorded during the same sessions. The “sister albums”….“Warmer came right behind Warm – recorded in the same burst, motivated by the same impetus, overflowing with the same consoling ethos”.

Ahead of the album’s April 13th arrival, Tweedy has shared the Warmer track “Family Ghost,” a “reflection on the difficulty of understanding and eliminating the types of casual and systemic racism pervasive in Jeff’s southern Illinois upbringing,” a press release for the album stated.

The 10-song collection was recorded during the same studio sessions at Chicago’s the Loft Studio that resulted in Tweedy’s 2018 album. Warmer was “recorded in the same burst, motivated by the same impetus, overflowing with the same consoling ethos,” author George Saunders, who penned Warm‘s liner notes, said of the “sister album.

Tweedy has said of Warmer in a statement, “At some point I separated the songs from the Warm/Warmer session into two records with individual character, but still tried to keep the overall tone and texture of the combined session consistent. In a lot of ways these two records could have been released as a double LP. Warmer means as much to me as Warm and might just as easily have been released as the first record of the pair.”

WARMER includes ten previously unavailable studio recordings written and recorded at The Loft in Chicago

Jeff Tweedy Previews His First Proper Solo Album with Twang-Tinged Single "Some Birds"

Jeff Tweedy  has shared “Some Birds,” the first single off his forthcoming solo album Warm, due out November. 30th through dBpm Records. The record, recorded at Tweedy’s legendary Chicago studio The Loft, will be his first proper album of entirely new solo work, and will feature liner notes by the acclaimed author George Saunders.

“Some Birds” finds Tweedy up to his old Uncle Tupelo tricks once again. The rusted alt-country of No Depression has, throughout the years, alternately been Tweedy’s boon and bane some of Wilco’s best work occurred when he was running as far away from roots rock as he could. But when he’s on his own, that naturalistic style of songwriting feels, well, natural.

Like Wilco’s collaboration with Billy Bragg, or Tweedy’s own cover of Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate” off the I’m Not There soundtrack, “Some Birds” just feels right. His reedy voice seems to be made for lap-steel slides and clomping acoustic vamps. That’s not to say he’s gone all “beer, trucks and broken hearts,” though—he’s still got his deadpan wit and an eye for good imagery. “Some birds just sit / useless, like a fist,” he sings to start. “I lean on the wall / like a broom, confused / by the scope it all,” he adds later, his metaphors always dangling for a few moments, leaving you wondering just how a fist is useless, or how a broom can be confused. It’s comfortable but funny, lived-in but not tired.

According to Tweedy, “Some Birds” is “like a lot of songs on Warm, being a confrontation between self and shadow self simultaneously feeling I’m to blame and not to blame, present and gone, and utterly confused, but determined to hold someone accountable.”

Official video for “Some Birds,” the lead single off Jeff Tweedy’s solo album Warm.

Tweedy will be touring this fall in support of his new record. Check out the “Some Birds” video