- 1Normal American Kids02:47
- 2If I Ever Was a Child02:56
- 3Cry All Day04:17
- 4Common Sense03:25
- 6Someone to Lose03:20
- 10Shrug and Destroy02:53
- 11We Aren't the World (Safety Girl)02:54
- 12Just Say Goodbye02:45
Info for Schmilco
Schmilco features 12 new songs written by Jeff Tweedy and is the band’s third release on their own dBpm Records. It follows Star Wars, which was released for free and as a surprise in July 2015.
Mostly an acoustic collection, Schmilco bears neither the vicious, fuzz-glam guitars of Star Wars, nor the dazzling, baroque-ish arrangements that fans have come to expect from Wilco. But in their place is a spaciousness and chaos that might feel welcome after 20-some years of enjoyed but now-familiar Wilco releases. It is an intentionally loose affair.
Schmilco finds band leader Tweedy in a state of alienation: how to cope with dissonance between self-identity and the public perception of his band – to maintain an innocence and earnestness even as some have come to see him as more (or less) than human, and Wilco as something other than six musicians?
„Wilco's 11th album, 2015's Star Wars, was a playful and angular set of noisy pop and pop-friendly noise, and it seemed fitting that it literally appeared out of nowhere, with the band sending it out as a free download without any advance warning one July afternoon. Little more than a year later, Wilco has released a follow-up, Schmilco, and in many respects this album is the flip side to Star Wars. Schmilco feels every bit as spontaneous as Star Wars (and much of the material was recorded during the same sessions), but where the earlier album seemed full of the joy of making music, this one is somber and low-key, a set of navel-gazing music even as the tunes confirm that Jeff Tweedy's way with a melody hasn't failed him. Acoustic guitars dominate most of Schmilco's 12 songs, with Tweedy's vocals right up front, sounding introspective and emphatic at once. On first listen, Schmilco plays like the work of one man and his guitar alone with his thoughts and his sorrows late one night. It takes a couple of spins for the contributions of the rest of the band to really sink in, but once they do, it becomes apparent this truly is a Wilco album, as Nels Cline's guitars, Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen's keyboards, and Glenn Kotche's drums bring a rich spectrum of dynamics and texture to the songs, while John Stirratt's bass anchors these songs both melodically and rhythmically. Just as 1999's Summerteeth sounded like a smart pop album when observed casually but was an emotional horror show beneath the surface, Schmilco feels simple and declarative on first glance, but the deeper one is willing to dig, the more there is to find, both in terms of the band's interplay (which gets better and more intuitive with each album) and Tweedy's songs (which boast as much compassion and concern as brooding). Star Wars was Wilco's cheerfully bent version of a summer album; Schmilco is clearly music for autumn, meant for cool nights, crunching through the leaves, and the occasional dark night of the soul. And it speaks volumes about Wilco that they could make two albums so different within such a short space of time, and both times giving us music that sounds like no one else.“ (Mark Deming, AMG)
Produced by Jeff Tweedy, Tom Schick
The Chicago rock band founded in the mid-’90s by singer, guitarist and songwriter Jeff Tweedy last year launched and headlined the inaugural Solid Sound Festival, while Tweedy produced and wrote two songs for the Grammy- winning release by soul legend Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone, which won Best Americana Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in February.
Staples joined Wilco, Avi Buffalo, Vetiver, the Baseball Project and more to perform at the first Solid Sound Festival, held Aug. 13-15, 2010, on the grounds of MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), a converted textile mill in North Adams, tucked away in the scenic Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.
Wilco has already announced the second incarnation of Solid Sound June 24-26. Along with a pair of headline performances by Wilco, this year’s version features the Levon Helm Band, Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, New Zealand rocker Liam Finn, alt-country duo The Handsome Family and folk couple Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion. Also performing are soul singer Syl Johnson, jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas and Chicago retro-soul band JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, plus indie-rockers Here We Go Magic, Sic Alps, Purling Hiss and a rare live set by Pillow Wand, a collaboration between Moore and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. Comedian John Hodgman hosts this year’s Comedy Cabaret, featuring Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac and comics Eugene Mirman and Morgan Murphy. Tickets are available via solidsoundfestival.com.
Also, Wilco this winter founded dBpm Records, headquartered in Easthampton, MA, to release future Wilco albums. Speaking of which, the band is currently recording the follow-up to its Grammy-nominated 2009 release Wilco (The Album) at the band’s studio in Chicago, The Loft.
It’s the latest chapter for Wilco, which Tweedy founded in 1994 after the dissolution of his previous group, Uncle Tupelo. From its raucous roots-rock origins, Wilco over the years has expanded its sound to encompass classic pop and genre-spanning experimentalism on acclaimed albums including 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (the subject of Sam Jones’ 2002 film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) and 2005’s Grammy-winning effort A Ghost is Born. Wilco also teamed with English singer Billy Bragg in the late ’90s at the invitation of Woody Guthrie’s daughter, who invited them to collaborate on setting to music some of the folk icon’s previously unrecorded lyrics, resulting in a pair of highly regarded Mermaid Avenue albums.
The current Wilco lineup solidified in 2004 with the addition of guitarist Nels Cline and guitarist/keyboardist Pat Sansone, who rounded out a roster featuring Tweedy, founding bassist John Stirratt, drummer Glenn Kotche and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen. Kotche joined the band during the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and Jorgensen helped with live sound manipulations on that tour before switching to piano and becoming a full-time member of Wilco.
In life beyond Wilco Stirratt and Sansone play together in the folk-pop group Autumn Defense, Jorgensen fronts the pop-rock band Pronto and Cline performs in multiple side projects, most notably with the free-jazz instrumental group The Nels Cline Singers. Kotche performs with bassist Darin Gray in On Fillmore and as a composer and a solo percussionist. He has also collaborated with Tweedy on the Loose Fur side project.
This album contains no booklet.