Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis, one of the pioneers of grunge rock music is about to introduce another side to his unlimited talents when he releases his first ever solo album Several Shades of Why on March 14th. The album is preceded by the release of the single Not Enough on February 28th.
The album marks a departure from the fuzzy electric guitars that have been Mascis trademark since those early days with Dinosaur Jr. and is instead an acoustic collection of some incredible beauty.
Recorded at Amherst Massachusetts’ Bisquiteen Studios, the album was created with the help of a few friends. Notable amongst them are Kurt Vile, Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Fedora (long-time collaborator), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Matt Valentine (The Golden Road), and Suzanne Thorpe (Wounded Knees).
Together in small mutable groupings, they conjure up classic sounds ranging from English-tinged folk to drifty, West Coast-style singer/songwriterism. But every track, every note even, bears that distinct Mascis watermark.
“Megan from Sub Pop has wanted me to do this record for a long time, she was very into it when I was playing solo a lot in the early 2000s, around the time of the Fog album [2002’s Free So Free]. She always wanted to know when I’d do a solo record. Several Shades of Why came out of that. There are a couple of songs that are older, but the rest is new this year. And it’s basically all acoustic. There’s some fuzz, but it’s acoustic through fuzz. There’re no drums on it, either. Just one tambourine song, that’s it. It was a specific decision to not have drums. Usually I like to have them, but going drum-less pushes everything in a new direction, and makes it easier to keep things sounding different.”
In celebration of the release, a free download of wonderful album track ‘Is It Done’ has been made available, downloadable direct from Sub Pop.
In this amusing video interview Mascis gives an insight into the new album as well as a quick look around his studio.
Playing European shows in support of his forthcoming album Several Shades of Why, Mascis will arrive in London on April 14th for an intimate performance at London’s Cargo. The full European dates are:
13th – Dublin, Whelans
14th – London, Cargo
16th – Paris, Point Ephemere
17th – Milan, Bloom
18th – Rome, Circolo degli Artisti
20th – Antwerp, Trix
21st – Amsterdam, Sugar Factory
22nd – Madrid, Moby Dick
23rd – Barcelona, La (2)