Amherst natives Dinosaur Jr. have shared their second song in anticipation of Sweep It Into Space, out April 23 on Jagjaguwar, and one of Paste’s most-anticipated albums of next month. “Garden” follows lead single “I Ran Away,” and arrives with an accompanying music video.
Founding member Lou Barlow wrote and performed “Garden,” following his tradition of making a two-song lead vocal cameo on a Dinosaur Jr. album. The music video for the moving, bittersweet single was co-directed by Barlow and his wife Adelle. The band is shown playing outside in frigid Western Massachusetts, and the white, snowy landscape gets some added color through animated illustrations by Chloe Hemingway and John Moloney.
Barlow said of “Garden’s” lyrical and cinematic creation:
Everyone seemed to want a disruption in the order of American life, it seemed necessary. Then it happened. It began as a bitter lamentation but as I was finishing the lyrics, singing over the instrumental version of the song while driving to J’s through the miles of farmland that separate his studio in Amherst and my home in Greenfield (Massachusetts), I saw a sign on a shed: Back to the Garden. I was looking for a resolution, where do we go when faced with such dramatic confusion? Back to basics, back home, back to the garden. Luckily I was able to complete the vocals and instrumentation for the song just before the quarantine.
There wasn’t a video planned for the song but since my wife Adelle and I had started making holiday ‘specials’ for my YouTube channel this past December, we thought we could knock one out for Garden. I wanted to capture the two of us holding hands on a levy overlooking a scenic bend in the Connecticut River (very close to where the first Dinosaur video, Little Fury Things, was filmed!). Adelle thought we should incorporate the whimsical paintings of Dinosaur Jr.’s tour manager John Moloney. He routinely dashes off caricatures of J, Murph and I when we travel. I told John about our ideas and he thought it would be easy to video the band playing the song. So, John and Adelle quickly captured the band playing the song on their iPhones on a cold February afternoon and I edited it all together in iMovie. Then we had Chloe, the real vid expert at Jagjaguwar, put the paintings by John and Adelle into the mix, and that’s it! Thanks for watching.
The release of “Garden” comes with news that the band will be streaming a virtual performance from The Sinclair in Boston on May 1, a week after the release of Sweep It Into Space. The virtual show comes before Dinosaur Jr.’s American tour this fall, which kicks off with their retreat, Camp Fuzz.
Watch the video for “Garden” below, and keep scrolling to revisit Dinosaur Jr.’s 2009 Daytrotter session. You can find more information about the band’s Boston show here.