Perennial alt-rock favorites Wilco just want to feel joyful. Is that so much to ask? In 2019’s dire, dreary political climate, maybe it is. Maybe we should risk our individual happinesses to better our community; maybe there’s a way to materialize that joy into political action.
That’s the central tension in the band’s new song, “Love Is Everywhere (Beware),” the lead single from their newly announced 11th album, Ode to Joy. Over twirling guitars and tender percussion, Jeff Tweedy yearns for a solution, struggling through the seemingly opposing mentalities: “So many things I do / I can’t explain to you,” he sighs moments after singing the titular phrase.
Tweedy expands on the track in a statement:
There MUST be more love than hate. Right?! I’m not always positive we can be so sure. In any case, I’m starting to feel like being confident in that equation isn’t always the best motivation for me to be my best self—it can kind of let me off the hook a little bit when I think I should be striving to contribute more love outside of my comfortable sphere of family and friends. So … I guess the song is sort of a warning to myself that YES, Love IS EVERYWHERE, but also BEWARE! I can’t let that feeling absolve me of my duty to create more.
On Ode to Joy, the band will continue to tackle those questions. Tweedy explains that the album is filled with “really big, big folk songs, these monolithic, brutal structures that these delicate feelings are hung on,” citing the importance of Glenn Kotche’s percussion as foundational to the album’s complete sound.
Ode to Joy is due out Oct. 4 via dBpm Records and available for preorder here. Listen to “Love is Everywhere (Beware)” below, then keep scrolling to find a 1996 Wilco concert from the Paste archives. Even further down, you’ll find the album’s details. If you want to see if Wilco is heading to a city near you, head on over here.
Ode to Joy Album Art:
Ode to Joy Tracklist:
01. Bright Leaves
02. Before Us
03. One and a Half Stars
04. Quiet Amplifier
05. Everyone Hides
06. White Wooden Cross
08. We Were Lucky
09. Love Is Everywhere (Beware)
10. Hold Me Anyway
11. An Empty Corner