The eight-year wait for Modest Mouse‘s new album Strangers to Ourselves was delayed a little longer as the band pushed the LP’s release date back two weeks to March 17th. To make amends for the brief postponement, Modest Mouse unveiled Strangers to Ourselves‘ 15-song tracklist, a list of collaborators (including the Shins’ James Mercer) and the album’s penultimate song, “The Best Room.”
Second-to-last songs on Modest Mouse albums are routinely where Isaac Brock and company showcase their strongest, most melancholic, work – The Moon & Antarctica‘s “Life Like Weeds” and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank‘s “People as Places as People” especially stand out – and “The Best Room” keeps that streak alive even after eight years.
“These Western concerns are all I ever learned to be concerned with / Don’t you know it’s hard / feeling tired / all the time,” Brock sings as “The Best Room” builds and crashes down around him. Of the three Strangers to Ourselves singles so far, the latest one hews closest to Modest Mouse’s sound on their previous albums.
Strangers to Ourselves was recorded at Brock’s Ice Cream Party studio in Portland, Oregon and was produced by Brock alongside Andrew Weiss, Tucker Martine, Clay Jones, and Brian Deck. Longtime Modest Mouse drummer Jeremiah Green appears on the album with contributors like Mercer (who handles background vocals, as he also did on We Were Dead…), plus Tom Peloso, former Grandaddy member Jim Fairchild and more.
The album’s 15-song tracklist features first single “Lampshades on Fire” and numerous cuts the band has performed live in recent years, including “Shit in Your Cut,” “Be Brave” and “Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, FL. 1996),” the latter seemingly inspired by Gianni Versace’s murderer.
Strangers to Ourselves
1. “Strangers to Ourselves”
2. “Lampshades on Fire”
3. “Shit in Your Cut”
4. “Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, FL. 1996)”
6. “The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box”
8. “Pups to Dust”
9. “Sugar Boats”
10. “Wicked Campaign”
11. “Be Brave”
12. “God is an Indian and You’re an Asshole”
13. “The Tortoise and the Tourist”
14. “The Best Room”
15. “Of Course We Know”