Twenty years ago, Stephen Malkmus and Beck “Loser” Hansen were kings of lo-fi, slacker, indie (soon to be “alternative”) rock. Now Beck’s produced Mirror Traffic—a charmingly low-key album by Malkmus’s latter-day band the Jicks. (Out on August 23.)
“We recorded it with Beck over the last year,” Malkmus said a few weeks ago in a guest post on his bare-bones website. “68% of the tracking, vocals included, took place on one day, a first for me. We pretty much left it all out there, so look for 50 minutes of tunage, 13 songs, and LOTS of good times.”
The LP’s first track, “Senator,” appeared online earlier this summer and drew a bit of attention for one finely turned, not-quite-safe-for-work lyric. (It’s the one that begins, “I know what the senator wants . . . ”) “Tigers” appeared a month or so later—and you can download both songs, as free MP3s, by clicking below. (PC users: RIGHT CLICK on the song title. Mac users: ALT/OPTION + CLICK.)
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