Primavera Sound Barcelona
We apologise if we scared the hell out of some of you with that baseball cap in our Primavera Pack, the one that said ““Ex-indie”, before releasing the line up so that you could delight in all the names ... and relax. Did you think we had forgotten about you, you nineties lovers? Never, whilst Stephen Malkmus has a guitar and still feels like playing it: and it is patently obvious on Sparkle Hard (2018), that the most famous fringes in Pavement have a long career ahead. With seven albums under his belt (one solo and the rest of them with The Jicks), the Portland artist leaves behind him spatio-temporal labels to bring together classical melodies and deafening contemporary lyrics (references to the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements included), without forgetting to deliver three or four tracks with his delightful morning sparkle trade mark, as reassuring as it is characteristic. And as he himself sings on Middle America, “I will not disappear”. We have Malkmus, habemus indie, for some time to come.
Sparkle Hard (Domino Records, 2018)