Following the February release of “Middle America,” Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks’ first new material in over four years, the band has announced their seventh album, Sparkle Hard, due out May 18 via Matador.
“Shiggy,” the second advance track from Malkmus and company’s new album, released Monday alongside its announcement, is described in a press release as “an insanely gleeful, old-school four-chord stomper.” Indeed, where lead single “Middle America” was twangy and inviting, “Shiggy” has more muscle, rooted in a marching bass line and insistent guitars. “You’ve seen the blind opinions / You’ve seen them walking so damn tall,” Malkmus sings. “I’d like to be your best friend / whenever forever arrives … ”
Sparkle Hard is the band’s first release since 2014’s Wig Out At Jag Bags. Malkmus started writing the new album in 2015 after working on Netflix’s Flaked, recording demos in one day last April before diving into the recording process at Portland’s Halfling studio—managed by multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk of The Decemberists, who produced Sparkle Hard—in May.
& The Jicks—with Mike Clark on keyboards, Joanna Bolme on bass and Jake Morris on drums—will tour North America this summer in support of their new album, making stops in Chicago, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Nashville, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. You can find their full tour slate and revisit “Middle America” right here.
Listen to “Shiggy” via Spotify below (or your streaming service of choice here), along with a 2009 Malkmus performance from the Paste Cloud. You can preorder Sparkle Hard here, and find the album art and tracklist further down below.
Sparkle Hard Tracklist:
01. Cast Off
02. Future Suite
03. Solid Silk
04. Bike Lane
05. Middle America
10. Refute (ft. Kim Gordon)
11. Difficulties / Let Them Eat Vowels
Sparkle Hard Album Art: