Dinosaur Jr. will release their new album, Sweep It Into Space, on April 23rd via Jagjaguwar. Today, they present the album’s second single, 'Garden', which follows 'I Ran Away', As is typical, Lou Barlow writes and sings two of the album’s dozen tunes, and 'Garden' is perhaps his finest contribution to a Dinosaur Jr. record yet.
It’s a mid-paced ballad with genteel guitar filigree giving it a ’60 Brit feel in spots. The accompanying video, shot in Western Massachusetts, was directed by Lou and Adelle Barlow, with illustrations by John Moloney and animation by Chloe Hemingway.
Lou says of the song and video:
“Everyone seemed to want a disruption in the order of American life, it seemed necessary. Then it happened. It began as a bitter lamentation but as I was finishing the lyrics, singing over the instrumental version of the song while driving to J’s through the miles of farmland that separate his studio in Amherst and my home in Greenfield (Massachusetts), I saw a sign on a shed: Back to the Garden. I was looking for a resolution, where do we go when faced with such dramatic confusion? Back to basics, back home, back to the garden. Luckily I was able to complete the vocals and instrumentation for the song just before the quarantine.
There wasn’t a video planned for the song but since my wife Adelle and I had started making holiday ‘specials’ for my YouTube channel this past December, we thought we could knock one out for Garden. I wanted to capture the two of us holding hands on a levy overlooking a scenic bend in the Connecticut River (very close to where the first Dinosaur video, Little Fury Things, was filmed!). Adelle thought we should incorporate the whimsical paintings of Dinosaur Jr’s tour manager John Moloney. He routinely dashes off caricatures of J, Murph and I when we travel. I told John about our ideas and he thought it would be easy to video the band playing the song. So, John and Adelle quickly captured the band playing the song on their iPhones on a cold February afternoon and I edited it all together in iMovie. Then we had Chloe, the real vid expert at Jagjaguwar, put the paintings by John and Adelle into the mix, and that’s it! Thanks for watching.”
Watch Dinosaur Jr.’s 'Garden' video - BELOW:
Sweep It Into Space was recorded, as usual, at Amherst's Bisquiteen. The sessions began in the late autumn of 2019 and the only extra musician used this time was Kurt Vile, who co-produced the album. After the recording with Kurt got disrupted, J Mascis took the reins on the rest of the production. Murph's pure-Flinstonian drumming drives the record like a go-cart from Hell.
Lou's songs here are as elegant as always. J's tracks flow and flower in the different directions he often follows. Some are guitar howlers, with a string sound midway between Hendrix and Asheton, and some are power ballads, and there are anomalies. But there are very few moments where you wouldn't know you were hearing Dinosaur Jr. in blindfolded needle drop. They have a signature sound as sure as the Stooges or Sonic Youth or Discharge ever did. They continue to expand their personal universe with Sweep It Into Space, without ever losing their central core.
Later this year, Dinosaur Jr. will tour across North America in support of Sweep It Into Space. In July, they’ll host their beloved Camp Fuzz. Tickets for all dates are on sale here. Additionally, to celebrate the release of the album, Dinosaur Jr. will play a livestream performance from the Sinclair in Boston, MA on May 1st at 9 pm EST. Tickets are available here, with upgrade options for exclusive merchandise and VIP Soundcheck Experience.