Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have released their new album Sparkle Hard. It’s light ’n’ breezy, head-down heavy, audacious, melancholic and reflective, good time and bodacious, and it’s both unmistakeably The Jicks and The Jicks refashioned.
Malkmus started writing Sparkle Hard in 2015. He’d upgraded his home-recording equipment and bought some electronic drums and had been working on the Netflix series Flaked. Demos were done in one day in April, 2017 and then in May, The Jicks began recording at a new studio in Portland called Halfling, which is managed by multi-instrumentalist Chris Funk who produced the album.
Self-indulgent escapism has never been The Jicks’ bag, but on Sparkle Hard, the reality of modern life sits closer to the surface, communication cutting to the chase whether it’s a proto-punk grind or a back-porch country duet doing the talking. A cleaner burn for dark and complex times.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have thrived, rather than simply endured over 17 years and delivered six albums of buzzy, sub-cultural significance. With Sparkle Hard Malkmus, Mike Clark, Joanna Bolme and Jake Morris hit the ground running.
Stream / purchase Sparkle Hard: https://stephenmalkmus.lnk.to/sparklehard