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29 April 2022

Wilco Announce New Album, ‘Cruel Country’, Out 27 May

Press - Jamie Kelter Davis
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Wilco have announced a new album, titled Cruel Country, due for release 27 May. They’ve also shared the first single, Falling Apart (Right Now), listen below.

Wilco will celebrate Cruel Country on its release day by performing the double album in full at Solid Sound Festival. It’s the band’s first album in three years, following Ode To Joy, and their 12th overall. Earlier this month, Wilco announced multiple deluxe reissue editions of their classic album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to mark its 20th anniversary.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy said of Cruel Country, “There have been elements of Country music in everything we’ve ever done. But to be honest, we’ve never been particularly comfortable with accepting that definition of the music we make. With this album though, I’ll tell you what, Wilco is digging in and calling it Country. Our Country. Cruel Country. Country music that sounds like us to our ears. In the past, it was always valuable and liberating for us to steer clear of the ‘Country’ moniker. It helped us grow and keep our minds open to inspiration from near and far. But now, having been around the block a few times, we’re finding it exhilarating to free ourselves within the form, and embrace the simple limitation of calling the music we’re making Country…

“The whole record is comprised, almost entirely, of live takes, with just a handful of overdubs. Everyone in the room together with a leaky drum booth and no baffles. It’s a really great way to make a record. But due to artistic curiosity and no small shortage of challenging logistics, it’s an approach we haven’t used in years—maybe not since Sky Blue Sky. It’s a style of recording that forces a band to surrender control and learn to trust each other, along with each others’ imperfections, musical and otherwise. With no ‘one’ person in charge, the goal can be vague. But a certain type of faith emerges. A belief that we’re all heading toward the same destination, and we either get there together or not at all. It’s messy. Like democracy. But when it’s working the way it’s supposed to, it feels like gathering around some wild collective instrument, one that requires six sets of hands to play. An instrument that forces one to communicate wordlessly and sprout deep tangles of roots, like an old forest.”

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