Photo: Cara Totman

Dinosaur Jr. return with the Kurt Vile-assisted “I Ran Away” and announce album

Alt-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. have revealed plans for a new album – their 12th. It’s called Sweep It Into Space and comes out on April 23 through Jagjaguwar. The band initially convened in Amherst’s Biquiteen studio in late 2019 to begin sessions. They had more or less finished the album by the time the pandemic struck, but J Mascis still wanted to put some finishing touches on it.

One of the songs he was tweaking post-lockdown is the lead single “I Ran Away”, which features some 12-string playing from Kurt Vile. Mascis says:

“[I] ended up just mimicking a few things [Kurt]’d done. I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy, so I was trying to get some of that duelling twin lead sound. But the recording session was pretty well finished by the time things really hit the fan. When the lockdown happened in March, that meant I was on my own. But it was cool.

That duelling guitar sound is in glorious evidence on “I Ran Away”, with the two instruments split between the stereo channels but glistening and gliding between each other magnificently. This forms the quicksilver surface of the track, playing into Mascis’ words about wanting to escape from himself, from everyone – from everything. “I ran away / I gave it up today / Who could I blame / It can’t be true,” he muses in the classic pop chorus, as ever blessing us with words that are general enough to be applied to anything, but sung with enough passion that his earnestness shines alongside the resplendent guitars.

Dinosaur Jr.’s new album Sweep It Into Space comes out on April 23 via Jagjaguwar (pre-order/save). You can find the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.