It’s been 20 years since Jimmy Eat World’s breakthrough Clarity, but the band is quietly releasing music that stands up to its endearing early emo-rock work.
An example: “Love Never,” a song that was released as a seven-inch in 2018, which the band — frontman Jim Adkins, touring multi-instrumentalist Robin Vining, and percussionist Zach Lind — opened with during its recent appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.
With manic energy, big harmonies, and a message about the consequences of love, the song could have been on 2001’s Bleed American. But the band didn’t take the performance too seriously: It ends with Lind dramatically hitting a gong.
The performance includes a big singalong of “All the Way (Stay),” from the band’s new album, Surviving, which came out in October. Back then, the band said the song “extolls the virtues of letting people discover the real you while exposing your vulnerabilities.” Adkins added, “Surviving explores some of the different kinds of weights my ego tells me I have to carry, what I see people around me choosing to carry, and what I have found to be the truth when I choose to let go.”
Next, the band played its biggest hit, “The Middle.” “It ties in with a lot of our newer songs thematically in a way,” Adkins said. “Your sense of self-worth coming from external validation is just kind of an empty pursuit.”
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The band has a lot of tour dates coming up, including shows in Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin in May.