Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks unveiled a blown-out new song, “Shiggy,” set to appear on their forthcoming album, Sparkle Hard, out May 18th via Matador.
“Shiggy” boasts a heavy groove of thumping drums, bristling bass and scorching guitars riffs, which peel off into a delirious closing solo. Over this speaker-rattling wall, Malkmus unravels verses packed with characteristically enigmatic lyrics and meandering melodies, singing, “You got the sticks a-talking/ You’ve got a fine imagination/ Of all the minor slave.”
Sparkle Hard, available to pre-order, marks Malkmus and the Jicks’ seventh album and first since 2014’s Wig Out at Jagbags. The group recorded the LP at the Portland studio Halfling, with the Decemberists’ Chris Funk serving as producer. Kim Gordon provides guest vocals on one track.
“I was trying to keep it direct, for the most part,” Malkmus said of the album in a statement. “I’ve been ‘zigzag-y’ and I like that, but I wanted to keep it tight, even if there are some long songs. People are quick to get things today; attention is low and there’s a lot of noise out there. We’re aware of it, so I was thinking about how I could cut through the noise a bit. In a way, that sounds kind of pop, but it’s not really – it’s just acknowledging the reality of how we all take things in now.”
In February, Malkmus and the Jicks released a new single, “Middle America,” though it’s unclear if that song will appear on Sparkle Hard. The band will embark on a massive North American tour June 1st in St. Paul, Minnesota.