Renowned alternative rock band Wilco have just announced their upcoming album, Cousin, slated to hit stores on Sept. 29 via dBpm Records. Fans worldwide eagerly await this much-anticipated release, and today they’ve been treated to the album’s lead single, “Evicted.”
Frontman Jeff Tweedy opened up about the album’s theme: “I’m cousin to the world. I don’t feel like I’m a blood relation, but maybe I’m a cousin by marriage.” With those words, Tweedy sets the tone for Cousin, as an exploration of connections and the human experience.
Welsh artist Cate Le Bon serves as the producer of Cousin, making it the first time Wilco has worked with someone outside their close circle of collaborators since Sky Blue Sky. Le Bon’s influence is evident throughout the album, introducing saxophone, cheap Japanese guitars, and a cinematic, New Wave-style drum machine.
Wilco and Le Bon’s connection began at the band’s Solid Sound Festival in 2019. Le Bon’s artistic approach encouraged the band to take risks and break free from old habits, while still preserving Wilco’s fearlessness and musical prowess, which have been their hallmarks for over three decades.
Le Bon’s artistic vision guided the rebuilding process in Chicago’s famed studio, The Loft, where she orchestrated Glenn Kotche’s drumming, John Stirratt’s bass lines, Mikael Jorgensen’s synths, Pat Sansone’s piano work, and guest instrumentalist Euan Hinshelwood’s saxophones. Tweedy’s yearning lyrics found their place amidst this masterful soundscape.
Cousin delves into uncharted territory for Wilco, emanating a nocturnal, chilly vibe, while retaining the heartfelt essence of Tweedy’s lyrics and voice. The album explores human connections on a personal level, focusing on the smallest social unit: a pair.
The lead single, “Evicted,” captures the album’s essence. It showcases Tweedy grappling the struggle to justify his worthiness for love, accompanied by Marc Bolan-inspired guitars. Tweedy explained, “I guess I was trying to write from the point of view of someone struggling to make an argument for themselves in the face of overwhelming evidence that they deserve to be locked out of someone’s heart. Self-inflicted wounds still hurt, and in my experience, they’re almost impossible to fully recover from.”
Tweedy went on to say of the album: “It’s this feeling of being in it and out of it at the same time. Hoping, expecting, and then despairing. Cousin is Wilco’s most emotional expression yet, delving into the pain of trying to connect with others while acknowledging our flaws and the fleeting joy of understanding in someone else’s eyes.”
Pre-order Cousin here.
Listen to “Evicted” below.
1. Infinite Surprise
2. Ten Dead
5. Sunlight Ends
6. A Bowl And A Pudding
9. Soldier Child
10. Meant To Be