The Indigo Girls have announced their first studio album in five years. Look Long, the duo’s 16th LP, arrives April 24th.
Ahead of the record’s release, the band has posted the funky new song “Shit Kickin’.” It’s Emily Saliers and Amy Ray’s recollections of growing up in the south and paints a more true-to-life depiction of a rural existence than the idealistic one often heard on country radio.
“Walking past the old men/get a load of that tomboy,” they sing. “Flying out the back door down to the lakeshore/fishing for big ones, ‘Delta Dawn’ in my head.”
Ray recalled the formative experience, and the conflicted feelings that came with it, in a lengthy email to Rolling Stone:
We had a house on a cove, in a rural area surrounded by farms, dirt roads, and woods. We had dirt bikes at the lake house in various states of functionality. We zoomed around the roads, both paved and dirt, without a care to any rules, and we discovered a series of trails in the woods that provided adventure and the much-needed privacy for childhood pondering and eventual teenage angst.
When I think back on the landscape and the folks I ran across, I think a lot about what was happening in society at the time, the social injustices that ran rampant, and how abstract it all seemed until I had the courage and freedom to question the ingredients of my environment.
I was a white kid of privilege, an interloper in this farming community, taken over by our weekend lake culture. But this community and many others like it had their own prejudices to come to terms with, and I could feel it as I aged out of my innocence.
According to Ray, the musical inspiration for “Shit Kickin'” came from an acoustic slide guitar she spied in Saliers’ basement rehearsal space. “I knew this would be the sonic centerpiece for the song,” she says.
Look Long, out via Rounder Records, was produced by John Reynolds, who came up with the greasy vibe of “Shit Kickin’.”
“The clavinet groove, the bass line, and Lucy Jules’ vocals parts fell into place immediately and organically,” Ray says. “I can’t hear the song any other way now.”
Indigo Girls initial tour dates can be found on the duo’s website.
Look Long track listing:
1. “Shit Kickin’”
2. “Look Long”
3. “Howl at the Moon”
4. “When We Were Writers”
5. “Change My Heart”
6. “KC Girl”
7. “Country Radio”
9. “Feel This Way Again”
10. “Favorite Flavor”
11. “Sorrow and Joy”