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My Morning Jacket reveals details of new album, gives away free songs

March 8, 2011 | 11:05 am

Artists_mymorningjacket_photo With the White Stripes having faded to black and the KROQ landscape laden with emollient rockers such as Coldplay, Kings of Leon and Muse, Louisville, Ky.'s My Morning Jacket remains one of the few great arena rock bands still standing.

So it was little surprise that diehards received the news of the band's return to action with great fanfare last week, when Rolling Stone reported the details of the new album "Circuital," slated for release sometime this spring. 

Following a detour to New York City for 2008's "Evil Urges," the band returned home to Kentucky to record in a makeshift studio carved out of the gynasium of a local church. According to Rolling Stone, the new record features "trippy keyboards, twisted pop hooks and fuzzed-out guitar attacks," and "feels like the culmination of the sonic adventures the band began with 2005's 'Z' -- while also capturing the power and dynamics that have made MMJ one of the greatest live bands of their generation."

Said frontman Jim James: "We want people to have almost the exact opposite experience they had last time. I definitely had some goals of wanting to make this one warmer and somehow more contained and more concise of a statement."

On Monday, the veteran band announced a series of weekly track giveaways, figuring to satisfy those patiently awaiting new tunes. Recorded in October during a five-night stand at New York's Terminal 5, the downloads will consist of one song from each of the band's five records, leading up to the release of the first single from "Circuital" on April 12.

The initial free track, "Butch Cassidy" from 1999's "The Tennesse Fire," finds the band faithfully channeling its early aesthetic: acoustic guitars, grain silo atmospherics and James' plaintive 3 a.m. wail. A full-fledged summer tour has yet to be announced, but the band currently has spot dates on its website, including stops at Bonnaroo and California's High Sierra Festival.


-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: My Morning Jacket. Credit: courtesy ATO Records