Posted May 2, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

The Jayhawks Share Songwriting Duties on Forthcoming Album

The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks

When singer Gary Louris first started the Jayhawks, a pioneering alt-country band that formed in Minneapolis in 1985, he didn’t set out to craft a sound from roots rock and country. Rather, he has said that he was initially an “Anglophile” when it came to music. 

And yet, decades on, the band has remained relevant. 

The group just announced that XOXO, its new album due on July 10 via Sham/Thirty Tigers, will feature songwriting and lead vocal contributions from all four longtime band members – Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg and Tim O’Reagan.

The Jayhawks have also released a new video with Louris performing a stripped-down version of “Living In A Bubble,” a timely song that “laments the problematic nature of our ratings-driven news cycle.” 

Watch Gary Louris Perform “Living In A Bubble” via Youtube:

“‘Living In A Bubble’ lyrically is a reaction to the 24 hour news cycle and how the media can fan the flames of fear if one lets it,” says Louris in a statement. “It 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.”

Recorded over two weeks at the secluded Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, MN as well as at Flowers Studio, a place founded by friend and Minneapolis music stalwart Ed Ackerson, XOXO is “the product of a group that is more inspired and more itself than ever before.” 

“It was time to open things up,” explains Louris. “The Jayhawks are a true band, one where everyone’s an equal, and we wanted to make a record that really reflected that.”

“Some songs we molded together from scratch, but others had been fully written by one or the other of us,” says Perlman. “We didn’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.”