Superchunk / Fucked Up at Revolution Hall
Tue, February 6, 2024
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SuperchunkLike every record Superchunk has made over the last thirty-some years, Wild Loneliness is unskippably excellent and infectious. It’s a blend of stripped-down and lush, electric and acoustic, highs and lows, and I love it all. On Wild Loneliness I hear echoes of Come Pick Me Up, Here’s to Shutting Up, and Majesty Shredding. After the (ahem, completely justifiable) anger of What a Time to Be Alive, this new record is less about what we’ve lost in these harrowing times and more about what we have to be thankful for. (I know something about gratitude. I’ve been a huge Superchunk fan since the 1990s, around the same time I first found my way to poetry, so the fact that I’m writing these words feels like a minor miracle.)On Wild Loneliness, it feels like the band is refocusing on possibility, and possibility is built into the songs themselves, in the sweet surprises tucked inside them. I say all the time that what makes a good poem—the “secret ingredient”—is surprise. Perhaps the same is true of songs. Like when the sax comes in on the title track, played by Wye Oak’s Andy Stack, adding a completely new texture to the song. Or when Owen Pallett’s strings come in on “This Night.” But my favorite surprise on Wild Loneliness is when the harmonies of Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub kick in on “Endless Summer.” It’s as perfect a pop song as you’ll ever hear—sweet, bright, flat-out gorgeous—and yet it grapples with the depressing reality of climate change: “Is this the year the leaves don’t lose their color / and hummingbirds, they don’t come back to hover / I don’t mean to be a giant bummer but / I’m not ready / for an endless summer, no / I’m not ready for an endless summer.”Fucked Up...