Listen: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – ‘Refute’

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks have shared another taste of what’s to come with their new single ‘Refute’, off their forthcoming new album, Sparkle Hard, heading our way on May 18. Listen below!

The song is a country-tinged reflection on marriage and infidelity, featuring guest vocals by Kim Gordon. Per Malkmus, the idea was to “queer the duet,” by messing with “Nashville tropes in light of current trends in evolutionary psychology” and reversing “the classic He Said/She Said narrative, where in this case the ‘wife’ is the cheater, and the omniscient narrator enters at the end to offer cold comfort.”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have thrived, rather than simply endured over 17 years and delivered six albums of buzzy, sub-cultural significance. With Sparkle Hard Malkmus (singer, songwriter, and guitarist), Mike Clark (keyboards), Joanna Bolme (bass) and Jake Morris (drums) hit the ground running.

Malkmus started writing Sparkle Hard in 2015. He’d upgraded his home-recording equipment and bought some electronic drums and had been working on the Netflix series Flaked. Demos were done in one day in April, 2017 and then in May, The Jicks began recording at a new studio in Portland called Halfling, which is managed by multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk of The Decemberists, who produced the album.

Self-indulgent escapism has never been The Jicks’ bag, but on Sparkle Hard, the reality of modern life sits closer to the surface, communication cutting to the chase whether it’s a proto-punk grind or a back-porch country duet doing the talking. A cleaner burn for dark and complex times. Sparkle Hard is available for pre-order here.

Stream / purchase ‘Refute’:

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