Wilco recently announced that they will be going on hiatus. The reason: Drummer Glenn Kotche’s wife, Miiri, got a Fulbright Scholarship to study medical device design in Finland. “It just seemed like a good reason to honor her and honor his commitment to the band: kind of allow them to have that opportunity and not put a whole lot of demands on their time,” Jeff Tweedy recently told Rolling Stone. “It’s always good for a band to go away for a while. And Wilco really hasn’t gone away hardly ever, so it was an opportunity to kind of do that. “
In the meantime, Tweedy has recorded a new solo album, Warm, which will be out in late November. As with other Tweedy solo outings, his son Spencer helped out on drums, and he also got author George Saunders to contribute liner notes. Wilco scholars can debate which admirably classy thing is more Peak Wilco: Taking a break because your drummer’s wife got a Fulbright, or conscripting the guy who won the Booker Prize for Lincoln In the Bardo to do your liner notes.
“Some Birds,” the first song we’ve heard from Warm, will definitely satisfy anyone bummed about the band being gone for a bit. It’s got all the hallmarks of fine Jeff Tweedy songcraft: a lovely yet weirdly haunted country-rock feel, a delicate melody, some autumnal guitar refractions and lyrics that marinade tenderly in alienation and depression: “is it my fault the countrysides / Are so full of suicides? / I break bricks with my heart / But only a fool would call it art”,” Tweedy sings. And just as you’d expect, he makes staring meekly into the void feel as cozy as an afternoon reading under your favorite blanket.