Wednesday, February 28, 2024
EntertainmentMusic

Sleater-Kinney release new single ahead of album and national tour

Sleater-Kinney release their latest single, “Untidy Creature,” ahead of their hotly-anticipated new album, Little Rope, out January 19.

The song’s remarkable one-shot music video, directed by Nick Pollet, features celebrated Australian freediver Amber Bourke holding her breath underwater for the song’s three and a half minute duration. Of the song and video, Sleater-Kinney says: “‘Untidy Creature’ was the first song we wrote for Little Rope, although we didn’t know it at the time; we weren’t certain we were even working on another record. We also worried it had come too easy, the song featured two elements that come very naturally to Sleater-Kinney: a big guitar riff, an even bigger vocal. But as the year wore on, and our choices and bodily autonomy shrank, our feeling about the song changed. It became a gift, somewhere to put our darkest fears, and our deepest hopes. We sometimes feel trapped or angry, and yet still we breathe.”

“For the video, we wanted imagery that spoke to the themes which permeate Little Rope: uncertainty, restlessness, urgency, all of the in-between and discomfiting states with which we’re forced to reckon. So, we came up with the idea of a woman holding her breath in a bathtub for the duration of the song, unsure of her motivations, not knowing whether she’s seeking escape, disappearance, absolution, or simply a moment of quiet and reprieve. We love the tension created by an act that defies both custom and comfort.”

The video release comes hot on the heels of “Say It Like You Mean It,” released last month with a video directed by Carrie Brownstein starring Succession’s J. Smith-Cameron. The track received praise from outlets like Billboard, who called it “thrilling” and “heartbreaking” and Paste Magazine who called it “pure rock bliss.” It followed the release of lead single “Hell,” which the saying it The New York Times “breaks wide open with anguish and inconsolable fury, as tolling, elegiac verses erupt into bitter power-chorded choruses. Corin Tucker unleashes her scream on the word ‘why.’” 

In December Sleater-Kinney ended the year with a bang when they performed “Say It Like You Mean It,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The exposed nerve ending of a song was brought to life in the show’s studio, accompanied by special guest tambourinist Fred Armisen. 

Photo Credit: ABC/Randy Holmes

Little Rope is expected to slay with the shattering emotional range of Corin Tucker’s vocals and more of that “pure rock bliss.”

The album careens headfirst into grief and brokenness with the album’s 10 songs ranging from spare to anthemic, catchy to deliberately hard-turning. But beneath that are perhaps the most complex and subtle arrangements of any Sleater-Kinney record, and a lyrical and emotional compass pointed firmly in the direction of something both liberating and terrifying: the sense that the only way to gain control is to let it go.

Although some of the album had already been written, aspects of each song—a guitar solo, the singing style, the sonic approach—were pulled into a changed emotional landscape. As Brownstein and Tucker moved through the early aftermath of the tragedy, elements of what was to become the emotional backbone of Little Rope began to form – how we navigate grief, who we navigate it with, and the ways it transforms us.

Some background: In the autumn of 2022, Carrie Brownstein received a call from Tucker, who herself had just received a call from the American embassy in Italy. Years earlier, Brownstein listed Tucker as her emergency contact on a passport form, and while she had since changed her phone number, Tucker had not. The embassy staff were desperately trying to reach Brownstein. When they finally did, they told her what happened: While vacationing in Italy, Brownstein’s mother and stepfather had been in a car accident. Both were killed.

“Everything got spikier. Or sicker. Or prettier,” Brownstein told The New Yorker. “Everything had to take on its final form. Nothing could have been stuck in the middle.” This grief became another kind of creative glue for Brownstein and Tucker. “Sometimes Carrie would say, ‘I just need you to sing. Can you just sing for me?’ ” Tucker reveals. “And I would say yes. It was out of necessity.”

Sleater-Kinney’s North America tour in support of Little Rope kicks off next month on February 28 in San Diego. Tour highlights include multiple nights in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Dates below, get tickets here.

Sleater-Kinney Tour Dates:

02/28/2024 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park

02/29/2024 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl

03/01/2024 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre

03/02/2024 – Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theater

03/04/2024 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom

03/05/2024 – Dallas, TX @ Studio at the Factory

03/06/2024 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater

03/08/2024 – New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater

03/09/2024 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern

03/11/2024 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa

03/12/2024 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem

03/13/2024 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

03/14/2024 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

03/16/2024 – New York, NY @ Racket *SOLD OUT*

03/17/2024 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club *SOLD OUT*

03/18/2024 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts *SOLD OUT*

03/20/2024 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

03/21/2024 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre

03/22/2024 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee

03/23/2024 – St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre

03/25/2024 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman

03/26/2024 – Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom

03/28/2024 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern

03/29/2024 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco

03/30/2024 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield

03/31/2024 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield

04/02/2024 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox

04/03/2024 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox

04/04/2024 – Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue

04/05/2024 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *SOLD OUT*

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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