Legendary Minneapolis pop-roots band The Jayhawks have announced their new album XOXO will release on July 10 via Sham/Thirty Tigers. Reportedly their most diverse and wide-ranging group of songs to date, XOXO marks a new era in collaboration, with songwriting and lead vocal contributions from all four longtime band members â€“ Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim Oâ€™Reagan. Along with the announcement, The Jayhawks have released a new video with Louris performing a stripped-down version of â€œLiving In A Bubbleâ€, a timely song of the current lockdown era that laments the problematic nature of our ratings, click=bait driven “news” environment.
â€œLiving In A Bubbleâ€™ lyrically is a reaction to the 24-hour news cycle and how the media can fan the flames of fear if one lets it,â€ says Louris. â€œIt is also a commentary about data collection, Big Brother, and our obsession with devices, while never being truly present in the here and now. Musically it is an homage to the great Harry Nilsson, and is driven by the amazing piano playing of Karen Grotberg.â€
Recorded over two weeks holed up together at the secluded Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, MN, as well as at Flowers Studio, founded by their friend and Minneapolis music stalwart the late Ed Ackerson.
With XOXO The Jayhawks camaraderie is at the heart and soul of the 12 songs, bringing an injection of confidence and energy to The Jayhawksâ€™ signature harmonies, infectious melodies, and masterful musicianship.
â€œIt was time to open things up,â€ explains Louris. â€œThe Jayhawks are a true band, one where everyone’s equal, and we wanted to make a record that really reflected that.â€ Elaborating on the process, Perlman says, â€œSome songs we molded together from scratch, but others had been fully written by one or the other of us. We didnâ€™t worry too much about who penned what, because after all these years of playing together, everything we do just naturally comes out sounding like a Jayhawks song.â€