American alternative rock legends Superchunk have returned with news of a new album and a brand new single with fellow alt rock legends Teenage Fanclub, ‘Endless Summer’.
“’Endless Summer’ was written on New Year’s Day 2020 which was unseasonably warm here in North Carolina,” the band explained. “Of course, by the time we recorded it, ‘endless summer’ had other meanings… The 7” sleeve features Roe Ethridge’s beautiful photos of broken beach umbrellas which capture the vibe of the song perfectly.”
I’ll be honest: I’m not usually a fan of when all-time great artists do the gimmick where they pair up with a series of famous collaborators who were influenced by them. It almost never features either artist on their A-game and instead just feels like a low stakes and lazy way waltz where everyone is going through the motions.
With that being said, I’m kind of delighted that Superchunk has ascended to that status, and calibre of artists lining up to pay tribute with them, not just to them, is unsurprisingly top notch: Sharon Van Etten, Kelly Pratt, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, and Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, among others.
We even get a testimonial on the record by Maggie Smith: “Like every record Superchunk has made over the last 30-some years, Wild Loneliness is unskippably excellent and infectious. It’s a blend of stripped-down and lush, electric and acoustic, highs and lows, and I love it all,” Smith says. “On Wild Loneliness I hear echoes of Come Pick Me Up, Here’s to Shutting Up, and Majesty Shredding. After the (ahem, completely justifiable) anger of What a Time to Be Alive, this new record is less about what we’ve lost in these harrowing times and more about what we have to be thankful for.”
Those are all great albums, and if you really want to understand how punk, indie rock, and college rock in the United States morphed into the cultural juggernaut that it became in the ’90s, all you have to do is listen to Superchunk’s seminal and superb 1990 self-titled debut to get it.
Superchunk themselves never hit the levels of Nirvana, Pixies, or The Replacements, but they are as essential to the evolution of alternative rock as any band, and they’re as deserving of a collaborative tribute LP in their honour as anyone.
Check out the lyric video for ‘Endless Summer’, plus the tracklisting for Wild Loneliness, down below.
Wild Loneliness tracklisting:
- ‘City of the Dead’
- ‘Endless Summer’
- ‘On the Floor’
- ‘Highly Suspect’
- ‘Set It Aside’
- ‘This Night’
- ‘Wild Loneliness’
- ‘If You’re Not Dark’