“We don’t have no love for November Man,” Sleater-Kinney vocalist-guitarist Corin Tucker sings on the new song by Filthy Friends, her collaboration with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, whose guitar growls around her words. If it isn’t clear who she’s singing about, her label has placed an image of the White House as the image for the lyric video. Throughout the rest of the song, she sings about how Trump’s words freeze hearts, shatter dreams and undo lives. It’s a hard-rocking takedown, in the vein of PJ Harvey or Patti Smith, thanks in part to Buck’s soaring guitars. The track will appear on Emerald Valley, the supergroup’s upcoming second album, out May 3rd.
“The first record was kind of put together on the fly, using time I booked to do my solo albums,” Buck told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “Once we toured and figured out what we were capable of, we really tried to stretch out.”
“There’s no set rules of how we write together,” Tucker said. “I love that Peter is always totally open to trying different ideas.”
The record contains many songs about current events and social themes. Tucker drew inspiration from Eugene, Oregon – the “Emerald Valley” – where she grew up and tried to put it into words. “One Flew East,” she said, was about gentrification, while “Pipeline” takes on the oil industry. Last month, they released “Last Chance County,” which drew on Tucker’s growing-up years. “It’s about a teenage girl riding the bus through a depressed Northwest town in the 1980s, a version of myself and the frustration I saw there,” she said. “Riding the bus to work, I saw people struggling to make ends meet and make sense of their lives. It’s disheartening that 30 years later, the struggle for working people might be even greater.”
The group will go on tour in May to promote the album.