This isn’t the first time I have expressed my love for Sleater-Kinney on UNDER_WIRE and it probably won’t be my last. However, this is really important stuff we’re dealing with. If you have being paying attention to any of the major music news sources, you know that 90s riot grrrl indie rock band from Olympia, WA, Sleater-Kinney, put out a new album yesterday for the first time in ten years. People are a little excited about it to say the least.
The album is called ‘No Cities To Love’ and it was secretly in the works by the band’s original members–Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss–for over a year until they dropped the news overnight back in October. But it’s not a reunion! In a recent interview with Billboard, Brownstein clarified, “We were a moving train–we just pressed pause… it’s not a reunion, it’s a continuation.”
They’re hiatus payed off. The band has produced, in my opinion (and the opinions of many others), some of their best work yet. There is a lot of respect in taking a break when you know that you’re not going to produce to your standards and coming back when you have something to say. That’s what Sleater-Kinney has done. They came back with an urgency and some serious power and you can feel it in every single song. The album is brief, compact and clean, but it packs a serious punch.
So, in celebration, I thought I would briefly summarize my favorite things about each song (like anyone cares..?) Let me know what you think in the comments! Let’s geek out together. <3
1. Price Tag
Carrie’s ‘I was lured by the devil, I was lured by the cost. I was lured by the fear that all we had was lost’ slays me. I literally just listen to that part of the song over and over again.
There is a line in this song that I have pointed out to a couple of St. Vincent fans that reminds me of her song ‘Bring Me Your Loves.’ In the chorus, Carrie sings something along the lines of ‘well I know that you made me. I’m sick for you like a rabid dog’ which is interesting in comparison with the lines ‘I thought you were like a dog’ and ‘we both have our rabid hearts’ in ‘Bring Me Your Loves.’ Whether these two songs actually have anything to do with each other is beyond me, but as a huge St. Vincent fan, it made me happy.
3. Surface Envy
The riff at the beginning says it all.
4. No Cities To Love
A couple nights before I ever even heard this song, my best friend Leah and I had a conversation about how as we get older, location has less to do with our love for the places we go. Now, the reason we love certain places so much is because of the people we meet there. So this song has the potential to become my new anthem.
5. A New Wave
Dear Carrie Brownstein — marry me.
Corin has always been a total powerhouse but man, this song. In an early press release, Brownstein said “we sound possessed on these songs, willing it all — the entire weight of the band and what it means to us — back into existence,” and it couldn’t be more true in this song.
7. Gimme Love
Again, it’s Corin. Hearing her ‘never enough’ right at the beginning brings you right back to some of their earlier work in the most wonderful of ways.
8. Bury Our Friends
I have of course been jamming to this song since it was released back in October. I honestly think my favorite thing about the whole song is the lyric video that was released with it starring Miranda July:
9. Hey Darling
This is probably the weakest song on the album in my opinion, but I have never been as much of a fan of Sleater-Kinney’s more playful and poppy stuff like ‘You’re No Rock N’ Roll Fun.’ Yeah, I’m admitting it — I have skipped it a few times. Whatever.
What a brilliant last song. So much power. I really hope that they play this one live but it might also kill me.
Sleater-Kinney’s ‘No Cities To Love’ is on sale now through Sub Pop Records. Although much of their North American tour is sold out, you can find tour dates near you on their website!