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Music

Wilco announce new album 'Cruel Country'

@TylerGolsen

Highly prolific and beloved indie rockers Wilco have returned to announce their newest record, a double album entitled Cruel Country.

As the title might suggest, Cruel Country will find the band rediscovering some of their twangy roots. Bandleader Jeff Tweedy famously got his start in alt-country troubadours Uncle Tupelo, and early Wilco albums like A.M. and Being There featured a similar sound. Around the time of 1999’s Summerteeth, the band began to shift their sound to be less explicitly country, but according to Tweedy, the genre has still been paramount to the group’s evolving sound.

“There have been elements of Country music in everything we’ve ever done,” Tweedy says in a statement. “We’ve never been particularly comfortable with accepting that definition, the idea that I was making country music. 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.”

For those who have been waiting with bated breath for Wilco’s return to their earlier sound, Cruel Country will give you plenty of opportunities to indulge. The new record will be 21 songs long, and one of the tracks is even called ‘Country Song Upside Down’. For a band with album titles like Star Wars and Schmilco, the line between playful silliness and serious artistry was always variable.

The band has also shared a preview of their first song from the album, ‘Falling Apart (Right Now)’, which is definitely indebted to the Bakersfield Sound. Just to hear a looping fuzz fiend like guitarist Nels Cline playing into the country sound is wacky, but the results are still classic Wilco.

Check out the audio for ‘Falling Apart (Right Now)’, plus the upcoming album’s tracklisting, down below. Cruel Country is set for a May 27th release.

Cruel Country tracklisting:

  1. ‘I Am My Mother’
  2. ‘Cruel Country’
  3. ‘Hints’
  4. ‘Ambulance’
  5. ‘The Empty Condor’
  6. ‘Tonight’s The Day’
  7. ‘All Across The World’
  8. ‘Darkness Is Cheap’
  9. ‘Bird Without A Tail / Base Of My Skull’
  10. ‘Tired Of Taking It Out On You’
  11. ‘The Universe’
  12. ‘Many Worlds’
  13. ‘Hearts Hard To Find’
  14. ‘Falling Apart (Right Now)’
  15. ‘Please Be Wrong’
  16. ‘Story To Tell’
  17. ‘A Lifetime To Find’
  18. ‘Country Song Upside-down’
  19. ‘Mystery Binds’
  20. ‘Sad Kind Of Way’
  21. ‘The Plains’