Wilco Announce New Album, Share Video for New Song “Falling Apart (Right Now)” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 5th, 2022  

Wilco Announce New Album, Share Video for New Song “Falling Apart (Right Now)”

Cruel Country Due Out May 27 via dBpm

Apr 28, 2022 Photography by Jamie Kelter Davis
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Wilco have announced a new album, Cruel Country, and shared its first single, “Falling Apart (Right Now),” via a video for the new song. Cruel Country is due out May 27 via the band’s own dBpm label. The album is due out the same weekend as the band’s Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, MA and they will perform the album at the festival. The black & white “Falling Apart (Right Now)” video showcases the band in the studio working on the song. Watch it below, followed by the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as the band’s upcoming tour dates.

As its title suggests, Cruel Country embraces the band’s Americana side. “There have been elements of Country music in everything we’ve ever done,” says frontman Jeff Tweedy in a press release. “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.”

Wilco—Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Pat Sansone, and Nels Cline—recorded almost everything on the album live in the studio together, with minimal overdubs, recording at the band’s own The Loft recording studio in Chicago. “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,” says Tweedy. “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.”

Cruel Country is a concept album of sorts, one that loosely chronicles the history of the United States. “It isn’t always direct and easy to spot, but there are flashes of clarity,” Tweedy explains. “It’s all mixed up and mixed in, the way my personal feelings about America are often woven with all of our deep collective myths. Simply put, people come and problems emerge. Worlds collide. It’s beautiful. And cruel.”

Tweedy adds: “The specifics of an American identity begin to blur for me as the record moves toward the light and opens itself up to more cosmic solutions—coping with fear, without belonging to any nation or group other than humanity itself.”

Cruel Country isn’t just about history, but also comments on the troubled times we’re currently living in. “More than any other genre, Country music, to me, a white kid from middle-class middle America, has always been the ideal place to comment on what most troubles my mind—which for more than a little while now has been the country where I was born, these United States,” says Tweedy. “And because it is the country I love, and because it’s Country music that I love, I feel a responsibility to investigate their mirrored problematic natures. I believe it’s important to challenge our affections for things that are flawed.

“Country music is simply designed to aim squarely at the low-hanging fruit of the truth. If someone can sing it, and it’s given a voice… well, then it becomes very hard not to see. We’re looking at it. It’s a cruel country, and it’s also beautiful. Love it or leave it. Or if you can’t love it, maybe you’ve already left.”

Wilco also recently announced a massive 20th anniversary reissue of their 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that features a whopping 82 previously unreleased tracks, including a 2002 live recording of “Reservations,” which they shared when announcing the reissue. They also performed the album’s “Poor Places” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The reissue is due out September 16 via Nonesuch.

The band’s annual Solid Sound Festival will take place this May, featuring Japanese Breakfast, Sylvan Esso, Hand Habits, Iceage, and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, among many others. Their last studio album, Ode to Joy, came out in 2019 via dBpm. Read our interview with the band where they discuss the album here.

Read our recent list ranking the 15 best Wilco songs.

Cruel Country Tracklist:

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

Wilco Tour Dates:

Fri. May 27 - Sun. May 29 - North Adams, MA @ Solid Sound Festival
Sat. Jun. 11 - Oslo, NE @ Loaded Festival
Mon. Jun. 13 - Copenhagen, DK @ Amager Bio
Fri. Jun. 17 - Zeebrugge, BE @ Zeebrugge Beach Festival
Sat. Jun. 18 - Kent, UK @ Black Deer Festival
Wed. Jun. 22 - Barcelona, ES @ Poble Espanyol
Sat. Jun. 25 - Murcia, ES @ Plaza De Toros Murcia
Mon. Jun. 27 - Madrid, ES @ Noches Del Botanico
Mon. Aug. 28 - Martha’s Vineyard, MA @ Beach Road Weekend

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