Stephen Malkmus returns to range life in the Jicks’ wry new Western ballad, “Refute.” With vocal assist from Kim Gordon, the song is the third single off the band’s upcoming record, Sparkle Hard, out May 18th on Matador.
Riding the same wheat-chewing wave as the album’s lead single, “Middle America,” “Refute” is a pastiche of the classic Nashville heartbreak duet, bemoaning the travails of marriage and eventual infidelity. According to Malkmus, he aimed to “queer the duet” in the song by reversing “the classic He Said/She Said narrative, where in this case the ‘wife’ is the cheater, and the omniscient narrator enters at the end to offer cold comfort.”
Enter Gordon, whose lethargic drawl never promised anyone a rose garden. “Carry on children,” she warns caustically, “But be aware, the world doesn’t want you anymore.”
The former Sonic Youth guitarist-vocalist shifts gears this year with the return of Body/Head, her experimental rock venture with Bill Nace. Their sophomore LP, The Switch is due July 13th.
The Jicks’ headlining summer tour kicks off June 1st at Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota.