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4-panel wallet with gloss coating, includes 12-page booklet

Like every record Superchunk has made over the last thirty-some years, Wild Loneliness is
unskippably excellent and infectious. Its a blend of stripped-down and lush, electric andacoustic, highs and lows, and I love it all. On Wild Loneliness I hear echoes of Come Pick MeUp, Heres to Shutting Up, and Majesty Shredding. After the (ahem, completely justifiable) angerof What a Time to Be Alive, this new record is less about what weve lost in these harrowingtimes and more about what we have to be thankful for. (I know something about gratitude.Ive been a huge Superchunk fan since the 1990s, around the same time I first found myway to poetry, so the fact that Im writing these words feels like a minor miracle.)

On Wild Loneliness, it feels like the band is refocusing on possibility, and possibility is builtinto the songs themselves, in the sweet surprises tucked inside them. I say all the timethat what makes a good poemthe secret ingredientis surprise. Perhaps the same istrue of songs. Like when the sax comes in on the title track, played by Wye Oaks AndyStack, adding a completely new texture to the song. Or when Owen Palletts strings comein on This Night. But my favorite surprise on Wild Loneliness is when the harmonies ofNorman Blake and Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub kick in on Endless Summer.Its as perfect a pop song as youll ever hearsweet, bright, flat-out gorgeousand yet itgrapples with the depressing reality of climate change: Is this the year the leaves dont losetheir color / and hummingbirds, they dont come back to hover / I dont mean to be a giantbummer but / Im not ready / for an endless summer, no / Im not ready for an endlesssummer. I love how the music acts as a kind of counterweight to the lyrics.

Because of COVID, Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon each recorded separately, but a silver liningis that this method made other long-distance contributions possible, from R.E.M.s MikeMills, Sharon Van Etten, Franklin Bruno, and Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura,among others. Some of the songs for the record were written before the pandemic hit, butothers, like Wild Loneliness, were written from and about isolation.

Ive been thinking of songs as memory machines. Every time we play a record, weremember when we heard it before, and where we were, and who we were. Musiccrystallizes memories so well: listening to Detroit Has a Skyline, suddenly Im shoutsingingalong with it at a show in Detroit twenty years ago; listening to Overflows, Imtransported back to whisper-singing a slowed-down version of it to my young son, that yearit was his most-requested lullaby.

Wild Loneliness is becoming part of my life, part of my memories, too. And it will be part ofyours. I can picture people in 20, 50, or 100 years listening to this record and marveling atwhat these artists created togetherbeauty, possibility, surpriseduring this alarming (andalarmingly isolated) time. But why wait? Lets marvel now.

Maggie Smith

4-panel wallet with gloss coating, includes 12-page booklet

Like every record Superchunk has made over the last thirty-some years, Wild Loneliness is
unskippably excellent and infectious. Its a blend of stripped-down and lush, electric andacoustic, highs and lows, and I love it all. On Wild Loneliness I hear echoes of Come Pick MeUp, Heres to Shutting Up, and Majesty Shredding. After the (ahem, completely justifiable) angerof What a Time to Be Alive, this new record is less about what weve lost in these harrowingtimes and more about what we have to be thankful for. (I know something about gratitude.Ive been a huge Superchunk fan since the 1990s, around the same time I first found myway to poetry, so the fact that Im writing these words feels like a minor miracle.)

On Wild Loneliness, it feels like the band is refocusing on possibility, and possibility is builtinto the songs themselves, in the sweet surprises tucked inside them. I say all the timethat what makes a good poemthe secret ingredientis surprise. Perhaps the same istrue of songs. Like when the sax comes in on the title track, played by Wye Oaks AndyStack, adding a completely new texture to the song. Or when Owen Palletts strings comein on This Night. But my favorite surprise on Wild Loneliness is when the harmonies ofNorman Blake and Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub kick in on Endless Summer.Its as perfect a pop song as youll ever hearsweet, bright, flat-out gorgeousand yet itgrapples with the depressing reality of climate change: Is this the year the leaves dont losetheir color / and hummingbirds, they dont come back to hover / I dont mean to be a giantbummer but / Im not ready / for an endless summer, no / Im not ready for an endlesssummer. I love how the music acts as a kind of counterweight to the lyrics.

Because of COVID, Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon each recorded separately, but a silver liningis that this method made other long-distance contributions possible, from R.E.M.s MikeMills, Sharon Van Etten, Franklin Bruno, and Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura,among others. Some of the songs for the record were written before the pandemic hit, butothers, like Wild Loneliness, were written from and about isolation.

Ive been thinking of songs as memory machines. Every time we play a record, weremember when we heard it before, and where we were, and who we were. Musiccrystallizes memories so well: listening to Detroit Has a Skyline, suddenly Im shoutsingingalong with it at a show in Detroit twenty years ago; listening to Overflows, Imtransported back to whisper-singing a slowed-down version of it to my young son, that yearit was his most-requested lullaby.

Wild Loneliness is becoming part of my life, part of my memories, too. And it will be part ofyours. I can picture people in 20, 50, or 100 years listening to this record and marveling atwhat these artists created togetherbeauty, possibility, surpriseduring this alarming (andalarmingly isolated) time. But why wait? Lets marvel now.

Maggie Smith

673855078021
Wild Loneliness
Artist: Superchunk
Format: CD
New: Available $12.98
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4-panel wallet with gloss coating, includes 12-page booklet

Like every record Superchunk has made over the last thirty-some years, Wild Loneliness is
unskippably excellent and infectious. Its a blend of stripped-down and lush, electric andacoustic, highs and lows, and I love it all. On Wild Loneliness I hear echoes of Come Pick MeUp, Heres to Shutting Up, and Majesty Shredding. After the (ahem, completely justifiable) angerof What a Time to Be Alive, this new record is less about what weve lost in these harrowingtimes and more about what we have to be thankful for. (I know something about gratitude.Ive been a huge Superchunk fan since the 1990s, around the same time I first found myway to poetry, so the fact that Im writing these words feels like a minor miracle.)

On Wild Loneliness, it feels like the band is refocusing on possibility, and possibility is builtinto the songs themselves, in the sweet surprises tucked inside them. I say all the timethat what makes a good poemthe secret ingredientis surprise. Perhaps the same istrue of songs. Like when the sax comes in on the title track, played by Wye Oaks AndyStack, adding a completely new texture to the song. Or when Owen Palletts strings comein on This Night. But my favorite surprise on Wild Loneliness is when the harmonies ofNorman Blake and Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub kick in on Endless Summer.Its as perfect a pop song as youll ever hearsweet, bright, flat-out gorgeousand yet itgrapples with the depressing reality of climate change: Is this the year the leaves dont losetheir color / and hummingbirds, they dont come back to hover / I dont mean to be a giantbummer but / Im not ready / for an endless summer, no / Im not ready for an endlesssummer. I love how the music acts as a kind of counterweight to the lyrics.

Because of COVID, Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon each recorded separately, but a silver liningis that this method made other long-distance contributions possible, from R.E.M.s MikeMills, Sharon Van Etten, Franklin Bruno, and Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura,among others. Some of the songs for the record were written before the pandemic hit, butothers, like Wild Loneliness, were written from and about isolation.

Ive been thinking of songs as memory machines. Every time we play a record, weremember when we heard it before, and where we were, and who we were. Musiccrystallizes memories so well: listening to Detroit Has a Skyline, suddenly Im shoutsingingalong with it at a show in Detroit twenty years ago; listening to Overflows, Imtransported back to whisper-singing a slowed-down version of it to my young son, that yearit was his most-requested lullaby.

Wild Loneliness is becoming part of my life, part of my memories, too. And it will be part ofyours. I can picture people in 20, 50, or 100 years listening to this record and marveling atwhat these artists created togetherbeauty, possibility, surpriseduring this alarming (andalarmingly isolated) time. But why wait? Lets marvel now.

Maggie Smith

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