It is four years since Lou Barlow’s career redefining, mostly acoustic album Emoh, during which time he has reunited with Dinosaur Jr. and reissued three of Sebadoh’s classic albums.
On October 5th Barlow will be back with his brilliant new album Goodnight Unknown, which fuses the live band energy of Dinosaur Jr, the stylistic reach of Sebadoh and somehow encompassing his most recent work with Folk Implosion.
Barlow explains the reasons for wanting to make the new album as something totally different to any of his previous material;
“My last record, Emoh, and almost every record I’ve done, for that matter, were patchworks of songs from different studios and different times. In some cases, these songs were recorded years apart.
With this record, I wanted it to be of a particular time with a consistent texture, where all the songs were recorded more or less at the same time in the same place. Also, I wanted to make it denser and more aggressive in the style of my earlier recordings as Sentridoh. The songs I had been writing seemed more provocative and ready for that approach.”
From the surging opening track Sharing to the surprisingly soulful performances on The Right, Goodnight Unknown benefits from Barlow’s tunefulness and his decision to record the record relatively quickly, with old friends and new.
The Melvins’ Dale Crover adds inspired drum work throughout, and Goodnight Unknown’s urgent sound owes just as much to frequent Barlow collaborator Imaad Wasif (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, alaska!).
The record’s considerable power also stems from the new talents on board, including producer Andrew Murdock, whom Barlow says he met while the producer was walking his dog past his house in LA, the pair forging an immediate bond in the studio as can be witnessed throughout the album.
Lisa Germano was introduced to Barlow through Murdock when the singer told him he wanted a female backing singer on the track Too Much Freedom. She was coaxed to the studio where she arrived with her friend Sebastian Steinberg who contributed stand up bass on two of the tracks.
Lou Barlow + The Missingmen will be on tour throughout the autumn opening for Dinosaur Jr. across North America and Canada. The Missingmen are guitarist Tom Watson and drummer Raul Morales. Lou “stole” them from Mike Watt for this tour, and is excited to be bringing the full band experience of Goodnight Unknown to the ‘live’ shows.
Goodnight Unknown will be available on Domino Records as a CD or digital download.
Goodnight Unknown Track Listing:
2. Goodnight Unknown
3. Too Much Freedom
4. Faith In Your Heartbeat
5. The One I Call
6. The Right
8. I’m Thinking…
9. One Machine, One Long Fight
11. Take Advantage
13. Don’t Apologize
14. One Note Tone